State’s Latest

Telangana to be showcased across Globe, KTR leads delegation to UK, Davos

Hyderabad (Telangana) [India]: Telangana State IT and Industries Minsiter K T Rama Rao is leading a delegation to UK as well as Davos beginning tomorrow till May 26. Throughout his main browse through, the Minister will be going to a series of meetings with leadership of numerous renowned firms and two round tables arranged by UK India Organization Council (UKIBC) in the UK.

Delegation will certainly likewise connect with a few popular Pharma, Food Handling and also Automotive industry leaders. Delegation will showcase Telangana as an investment location for worldwide business. Later On, KTR will be attending the prominent Globe Economic Forum (WEF) Annual meet  from May 22 to 26 in Davos, according to a press statement.

Before his departure, KTR in a tweet claimed, “Off to the United Kingdom for three days to go to meetings organized by UKIBC and also from there on to Davos to participate in the world economic discussion forum from May 22-26. Great deals of conferences aligned and also huge task in advance.”

Throughout the yearly conference, K T Rama Rao will be a part of numerous panel discussions organized by WEF and also by various other participants to highlight Telangana’s expertise at the global level.   He will certainly also be meeting over 35 leaders  from around the world on the sidelines of the event in bilateral meetings to review the capacity of growth and the ease of doing business in Telangana. A number of investments are expected to be clinched during this duration for the state of Telangana.
The Government looks forward to bringing attention to Telangana at an international scale, drawing in financial investments, as well as assisting realize the state’s lasting goals via involvement in the WEF.

Kannada Actor Chetana dies undergoing Fat Removal Surgery

Bengaluru: In a shocking incident,  21-year-old Kannada actress died while undergoing fat elimination surgery in Bengaluru on Tuesday. According to the authorities, she was undertaking surgery without the consultation of her parents. Chetana Raj is the young actress who died during surgical procedure. The parents are now affirming neglect on component of the cosmetic surgeons. They are additionally stating that the surgical treatment was conducted without correct tools. Chetana Raj is a citizen of Abbigere in Bengaluru. The medical facility authorities are maintaining that the fatality happened due to water obtaining transferred in her lungs during surgical procedure.

Chetana was undergoing fat removal surgery when complications arise

Chethana Raj had acted in prominent serials ‘Geetha’, ‘Doresaani’, ‘Olavina Nildana’. She had actually additionally acted in ‘Havayaami’, a Kannada film. Govinda Raj, daddy of Chetana Raj discussed that his child was admitted to the healthcare facility at 8.30 am on Monday. By the time they learnt more about regarding it, the surgical treatment had actually currently begun.
By the night, the lungs were full of water or fat web content as well as she had dealt with breathing troubles. There were no correct treatment in the ICU, he claimed.

Chetana Raj had asked them for approval to go through fat surgery but the household had informed her not to undertake the surgical procedure.
“My little girl passed away due to the negligence of the medical facility. The medical professionals have actually conducted surgical procedure without parental permission as well as without proper devices,” he specified.

“My child was hale and hearty. She was absolutely fine. Somebody has recommended to her that she had extra fat in the waistline and also without consulting any kind of member of the family she had actually come for the surgery. “I will launch lawful action against health center authorities,” he claimed.

TV actress Pallavi Dey found hanging at home, Police begins probe in Kolkata

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India] – Bengali actress Pallavi Dey was discovered dead at her home in Kolkata’s Garfa. Her body was recovered from her residence on Sunday early morning at 9.30 am.
According to authorities, Pallavi (25) was discovered hanging from a ceiling fan with the help of bed sheet inside an apartment  on the 2nd floor of a multi-storied.

Popular actor has been very active on social media

The body has been sent for the post-mortem to the city’s MR Bangur Health center.

” No self-destruction note was recuperated from the site of occurrence”, stated police. “Evidently, no exterior mark of injury was found on the body”, added authorities.

The Authorities have actually begun an examination by submitting a case of abnormal death. The Bengali television starlet was recognized for playing the lead role in ‘Mon Hare Na’ serial together with other programs including Resham Japi, Saraswati Prem as well as Ami Sirajer Begum. The news has actually left her co-stars and followers in deep shock. (ANI).

 

Assam floods: More than 25,000 people affected, 10 deaths

Guwahati (Assam): Around 25,000 people throughout six districts of Assam have actually been affected by the very first wave of floods in the state this year. Three  individuals consisting of a woman died in landslide cases in Haflong location in Dima Hasao area on Saturday. More than 10 people have died till Saturday as reported from various districts.
Complying with unrelenting rains in Assam as well as neighbouring states, Meghalaya, and also Arunachal Pradesh– in the previous number of days, the water level of several rivers are slowly increasing as well as the water in Kopili river is moving above the risk level mark.

According to the flooding records of Assam State Disaster Administration Authority (ASDMA), till May 14, a total amount of 24,681 people in 94 towns in six districts – Cachar, Dhemaji, Hojai, Karbi Anglong West, Nagaon and Kamrup (Metro) have actually been affected in the initial spell of flood. The flooding waters have also immersed 1732.72 hectares of cropland in the flood hit areas.

More than 21,000 individuals have been influenced alone in Cachar area. The Military, para-military forces, SDRF, Fire as well as Emergency Solutions on Saturday had actually saved 2,150 people from flood-hit locations of Cachar district. Numerous roads, bridges, and irrigation canals were damaged in Hojai, Lakhimpur, Nagaon areas.

UP Politics : Survey of Gyanvapi Mosque Resumes

Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: The second day of the court-ordered videography survey of the Kashi Vishwanath Temple-Gyanvapi Mosque complex in Varanasi began on Sunday morning amid tight security.

The court-appointed committee will conduct the survey of the Gyanvapi Mosque today.
“The survey will be conducted between 8 am-12 noon,” said Advocate Vishal Singh, the court-appointed special assistant commissioner.

The police cordoned off the road near the complex. All the shops within the 500-meter radius of the complex were shut on the first day. People will be not allowed in the complex area.

“Darshan has been arranged for all. All the routes have been opened so that the visitors do not face any problems and police personnel have been accordingly deployed. Right now entry is being given to a member of the commission from one gate and devotees are having darshan from the rest,” said Varanasi DCP RS Gautam on Gyanvapi Masjid.

As far as the survey is concerned, the lawyers of both sides, police officers, the District Magistrate and all the government officials related to the survey have reached the spot.

This survey is being conducted in accordance with the Varanasi Civil Court’s order to continue the survey despite objections from the mosque authorities.

The civil court had appointed a court commissioner to conduct the survey and videography of the site and the same was challenged before Allahabad High Court, which dismissed the appeal on April 21. The April 21 order of the High Court was challenged in the apex court.

Five women had filed a petition in the court seeking permission for daily worship at the Shringar Gauri temple, which is claimed to be situated inside the Kashi Vishwanath-Gyanvapi Mosque premises.

The order of the civil court for undertaking survey and videography at the premises came on the petition of the aforesaid.

Another petition, which was filed by one Vijay Shankar Rastogi, had contended that the entire premises belonged to the Kashi Vishwanath and that the Gyanvapi Mosque is only a part of the Temple, is also pending in the court since 1991.

Rastogi had also claimed that the Kashi Vishwanath Temple had been built over two thousand years ago and the temple was demolished by the Mughal emperor Aurangzeb. (ANI)

Tripura Politics : Manik Saha is the new CM

Agartala (Tripura) [India]- Dr Manik Saha, a Rajya Sabha MP, will be the next chief minister of Tripura in place of Biplab Kumar Deb who resigned from the post hours earlier.

Saha, who is also chief of BJP in Tripura, was elected leader of the BJP legislature party on Saturday.
Deb resigned from his post in fast-paced political developments in the state that will face polls early next year.

Deb said after submitting his resignation to State Governor Satyadeo Narain Arya that he had wholeheartedly served the people of the state.

“I thank Central leadership and people of Tripura for giving me the responsibility to serve Tripura as a Chief Minister. I have wholeheartedly served my State and will always work for the betterment of my State. Tripura shall definitely march ahead in the path of development. Jai Hind,” Deb said in a tweet.

Union Minister Bhupender Yadav and party general secretary Vinod Tawde were in Agartala as central observers.

“Many congratulations to Dr Manik Saha ji for being elected the leader of Tripura BJP Legislature Party. I am sure that Tripura will reach new heights of development under the guidance and leadership of respected Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji,” Bhupender Yadav said in a tweet.

Deb also extended his best wishes to Saha on his new role.

“Congratulations and best wishes to Dr Manik Saha ji on being elected as the legislature party leader. I believe under PM Narendra Modi Ji’s vision and leadership Tripura will prosper,” he said.

Dr Saha, a Professor of Dental Surgery, joined the BJP in 2016 from the Congress. He was appointed state BJP president in 2018. Dr Saha had been elected to the upper house in the biennial elections held earlier this year.

Sources in BJP said outgoing chief Minister Biplab Deb is likely to be brought to the Rajya Sabha. It is also being said that Biplab will be asked to take up the post of the party president of Tripura.

Deb had taken oath as the first Chief Minister of Bharatiya Janata Party in Tripura in 2018 ending the 25-year-rule of the Communist Party of India in Tripura.

Sources said that the BJP wanted to go with a fresh face in the assembly polls. (ANI)

Biplab Deb resigns as Tripura Chief Minister, BJP plans next step

Agartala (Tripura) [India]: Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb resigned from his post on Saturday less than a year before the assembly polls in the state.

Biplab Kumar Deb had taken oath as first Chief Minster of Bharatiya Janata Party in the state in 2018 ending the 25-year-rule of the Communist Party of India in Tripura.
Sources said that the BJP wanted to go with a fresh face in the assembly polls and Biplab Dev would be engaged In organisational work.

Sources said BJP leaders Bhupender Yadav and Vinod Tawde are in Tripura as the central observers and the decision on a new leader to replace Deb is likely to be announced in the evening. (ANI)

CM Kejriwal visits Mundka, orders enquiry, announces 10 lakh each as Compensation

New Delhi [India]- Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Saturday reached the fire incident site near Mundka metro station, and said that the government has ordered a magisterial enquiry into the incident.

The Chief Minister also announced a compensation of Rs 10 lakhs for the family of the deceased while the injured will be given Rs 50,000 as ex-gratia.
He was accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia and Cabinet Minister Satyendar Jain.

Speaking to reporters, Kejriwal said, “I have ordered a magisterial enquiry on behalf of the Delhi government. Ex-gratia of Rs 10 lakh would be given to the family of the deceased ones and Rs 50,000 to the injured ones. The two brothers have been arrested. Strict action would be taken against the guilty after the investigation.”

Stating that the bodies of the deceased were not identified yet, the Chief Minister said that DNA tests would be conducted to ascertain their identities.

“Bodies of the deceased were charred to the extent that many of them have not been identified yet. We have deployed help to identify the missing and the dead. We will conduct the DNA test through the FSL to ascertain identities of the mortal remains,” he said.

“We are awaiting the investigation to know if any officer or an agency was responsible for the incident,” Kejriwal said.

A massive fire had broken out on Friday evening that left 27 people dead and 12 injured in the tragic incident.

However, the blaze was brought under control, informed the fire officials. (ANI)

Delhi Fire: Mundka building did not have fire NOC, 26 dead

New Delhi [India]: Hours after the Delhi fire tragedy came under control, the police said the commercial building that caught fire near Mundka metro station on Friday evening did not have fire NOC while also informing that the building owner is absconding.

The police official said that the building owner has been identified as Manish Lakra.
“The building did not have a fire NOC. The owner of the building has been identified as Manish Lakra who lived on the top floor. Lakra is currently absconding, teams are on the job and he will be nabbed soon,” DCP Sameer Sharma (Outer District) told reporters.

As many as 27 people died in the fire accident so far and 12 persons are injured, police said.

“A total of 27 people have died and 12 are injured. We’ll take the help of the forensic team to identify the bodies. FIR has been registered. We’ve detained company owners. There are chances that more bodies may be recovered as the rescue operation is yet to be completed,” he added.

Meanwhile, the divisional officer of the fire department also informed that there was only one staircase due to which, people could not move out of the building.

“There was only one staircase and because of that people could not go out. The building did not have proper NOC (from the fire department),” said Satpal Bhardwaj, Divisional Officer, Fire Department.

On preliminary enquiry, it was found that it is a four-story commercial building generally used for providing office space for companies, the police said.

The fire broke on the 1st floor of the building which is an office of CCTV cameras and router manufacturing company. The owners of the company are in police custody. (ANI)

Punjab Police identifies Lakhbir Singh Landa as key conspirator in Mohali blast

Chandigarh (Punjab) [India]: Punjab Police on Friday declared Lakhbir Singh Landa as the key conspirator in the Mohali blast case, wherein a Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG) attack took place on the Punjab Police’s Intelligence headquarters earlier this week.

Addressing a press conference today, Punjab Director General of Police VK Bhawra said, “The key conspirator is Lakhbir Singh Landa. He’s a resident of the Tarn Taran district in Punjab. He is a gangster and shifted to Canada in 2017. He is a close associate of Harinder Singh Rinda, who is in close proximity to Babbar Khalsa International chief Wadhawa Singh, is a part of ISI and operates from Pakistan.”
“We can see that this blast was done together by Babbar Khalsa International and gangster with the backing of Pakistan based ISI. One of the main associates of Landa is Nishan Singh. He too is a resident of Tarn Taran and was rounded up by the police. He was arrested by Faridkot Police a few days back,” Bhawra said.

The Punjab Police said that Nishan Singh had provided shelter to two more accused in his house and in two of his contacts’ houses. “He had handed over RPG to the accused and is involved in about a dozen of cases,” Punjab DGP said on Mohali blast.

“Besides Landa, Nishan and his two contacts (named Baljinder Rambo and Charad Singh) are also involved. He is also from Tarn Taran district- an AK-47 retrieved from him,” Punjab DGP said. Lakhbir Singh Landa’s main associates- Nishan Singh and Charad Singh are also from the Tarn Taran district. Nishan had provided shelter to the two accused (involved in the incident), and he was arrested a few days ago by Faridkot Police, the police added. A Rocket-Propelled Grenade (RPG) was fired at the Punjab Police’s Intelligence headquarters in Mohali on the evening of May 9, triggering a blast at the site, Punjab DGP Viresh Kumar Bhawra said earlier that day. Further investigation is underway. (ANI)

Helicopter crashes in Chhattisgarh’s Raipur, both pilots killed

Raipur (Chhattisgarh) [India]: Two pilots died after a helicopter crashed at Raipur’s Swami Vivekanand Airport on Thursday night during a “routine” training sortie.

According to the state government, initial indications suggest technical malfunction as the cause of the crash.
“Chhattisgarh state helicopter crashed at Raipur’s Swami Vivekanand Airport tonight at around 9.10 pm. It was on a routine training sortie. Initial indications suggest technical malfunction as the cause of the crash. Captain Gopal Krishna Panda and Captain A P Shrivastava have unfortunately succumbed to injuries following the crash,” it said.

A detailed technical investigation on behalf of Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) and the Chhattisgarh Government will be undertaken to ascertain the exact cause.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel expressed deep anguish at the loss of lives. He has asked officials to provide immediate relief to the bereaved families.

“Just got a sad news about the state helicopter crashing at the airport in Raipur. In this tragic accident, both our pilots Captain Panda and Captain Srivastava have died. May God give strength to his family members and peace to the departed soul in this time of grief,” Baghel said in a tweet. (ANI)

AAP MLA Amanatullah Khan arrested over protest in Delhi

New Delhi [India]- Amid the ongoing anti-encroachment drive in the national capital, Delhi Police on Thursday arrested Aam Admi Party (AAP) MLA Amanatullah Khan who along with locals was protesting against South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) at Madanpur Khadar area.

He has been booked for obstructing a public servant from discharge of duty.
Amanatullah claimed that the Bharatiya Janata Party through the civic body is running bulldozers over the houses of poor people.

“The lathi-charge by the police on the people opposing the BJP’s “bulldozer system” is unconstitutional. We are against the anti-people policies of the BJP, and I will always raise my voice for the rights of the people, no matter how many times I have to go to jail for this,” tweeted Amanatullah in a series of tweets.

“Delhi Police has arrested me. Can imprison me, not my spirits,” he said in another tweet.

The SDMC on Thursday ran bulldozers in several areas of West Delhi including the Khyala and Chand Nagar areas of Vishnu Garden. Earlier, it carried out the demolition drive in the Madanpur Khadar area, where people protested against the move of SDMC.

The locals raised anti-encroachment slogans and sat on the roads in an attempt to stop the bulldozers that were brought to carry out the drive in the presence of the Delhi police.

Khan said that the people of the area had already removed the encroachments at his request.

“Wazu Khana’ and toilets outside a mosque here were removed in presence of police, earlier. When there are no encroachments, why have they come here? Just to do politics?” the AAP MLA said.

Khan further alleged that the MCD is carrying out the drive to “disturb the atmosphere”.

“When I removed all the encroachments, then the MCD has come to disturb the atmosphere. Why else have they come? If there is any encroachment in my constituency, tell me, and I will remove it,” he said. (ANI)

All flights from Visakhapatnam cancelled, Other cities flights will be affected

Vizag (Andhra Pradesh) [India]: All flights from Visakhapatnam have been cancelled due to cyclone Asani, said Visakhapatnam International Airport Director Srinivas on Tuesday.

“All flights cancelled for today in and out of Visakhapatnam. All 6E flights out of VTZ for tomorrow as well stand cancelled,” Airport director Srinivas said.
Visakhapatnam city witnessed extreme heavy rainfall due to Asani cyclone on Tuesday afternoon. Heavy rains accompanied by strong winds lashed many parts of the city and the district, under the influence of Cyclone Asani on Tuesday. Drains were overflowing in many areas and roads were under a sheet of water due to continuous rain. (ANI)

 

Cyclone Asani to intensify into Cyclonic storm in next 24 hours in Bay of Bengal 

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India]: India Meteorological Department (IMD) has said that the cyclonic storm named ‘Asani’ is expected to further intensify in the next 24 hours in Bay of Bengal. Earlier on Saturday, the department had predicted that a depression has formed over the southeast Bay of Bengal about 170km west of Car Nicobar and is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm.
Speaking to reporters, Senior Scientist, Umashankar Das said, “The deep depression has intensified into a cyclonic storm named ‘Asani’. It’s moving at 16 kmph in a northwest direction. It is at 970 km in the southeast direction from Vishakapatnam and 1,020 km in the southeast direction from Puri.”

Cyclone is intensifyng every hour

“We are expecting it’ll move in northwest direction till May 10 evening. Possibility, it’ll further intensify into a severe cyclonic storm in the next 24 hours,” he added.

However, the scientist denied the possibility of landfall and said that it will recurve and move parallel to the Odisha coast.

Das predicted rainfall by the evening of May 10 and said that yellow warning has been issued for three districts of Odisha.

“Rainfall will commence on 10th May evening, a yellow warning for rainfall issued has been for three districts — Gajpati, Ganjam, and Puri. On May 11, heavy rainfall warning has been issued for five districts — Jagatsinghpur, Puri, Khurda, Cuttack and Ganjam,” he said.

On the contrary weather condition in some parts of the country, the IMD predicted heat wave conditions in the isolated pockets likely over Vidarbha during May 8 to 12, West Rajasthan during May 8 to 12, South Haryana and East Rajasthan during May 9 to 12, West Madhya Pradesh on May 8 and 9, South Punjab and Jammu division during May 10 to 12. (ANI)

Ready to talk with naxals : Chhattisgarh CM Baghel

Raipur (Chhattisgarh) [India]: Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Saturday said that the government is ready to hold dialogue provided Naxalites have faith in the Constitution. Interacting with media persons in Pratappur, Baghel said, “The schemes of the state government being run in the Naxal-affected areas are winning the hearts of the tribal population. Now they are demanding to build roads and open camps. With the effective implementation of state government policies, the Naxal activities are confined to a few pockets in Chhattisgarh.”
“Naxalites should express their faith in the Constitution of India, and then we are ready to talk with them on any platform,” he emphasized highlighting the state government’s welfare schemes in Naxal-affected areas

 

Securiy forces have a long fight with naxals in forest areas of many states

Chief Minister Baghel was felicitated by media persons today for the decisions taken by the state government in the interest of the journalists. The Chief Minister announced the approval of Rs 10 lakh for ‘Patrakar Bhawan’ at Pratappur. It is worth mentioning that the state government has hiked the monthly pension for senior journalists under the ‘Senior Journalist Samman Nidhi’ from Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000. The age limit for the same has also been reduced from 62 years to 60 years. Besides, the limit of financial aid given to journalists under ‘Patrakar Kalyan Kosh’ has been increased from Rs 50,000 to Rs 2 lakh.

Similarly, new accreditation rules for journalists have been enacted, in which a provision has been made to give accreditation to journalists of TV channels, web portals, news magazines and news agencies. The accreditation quota for media institutions has been almost doubled. In a first, a provision has been made for accreditation of block-level journalists as well. A provision has also been made for providing financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh to the kin of journalists who died due to COVID-19. The validity period of accreditation has been increased from one year to two years. (ANI)

Cyclone Storm on 8th May: Depression over Bay of Bengal likely to intensify

New Delhi [India]: A depression has formed over the southeast Bay of Bengal about 170km west of Car Nicobar and is likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm by May 8, the India Meteorological Department said on Saturday.

IMD predicted that it will move northwestward till May 10 and recurve north northeastwards thereafter.
“Depression has formed over the southeast Bay of Bengal at 1130 hrs IST of 7th May about 170km west of CarNicobar. To intensify into a Cyclonic Storm on 8th May. To move northwestward till 10th May and recurve north northeastwards thereafter,” IMD said in a tweet.

Meanwhile, Odisha Fire Services Director General Santosh Kumar Upadhyay said the Fire Department was given directions to keep 175 units in alert mode and the leave of officers has been cancelled.

“As per IMD prediction, till May 8 there will be low-pressure zone. It could or couldn’t be a low-intensity cyclone. The fire department was directed to keep 175 units on alert mode, and the leave of officers was cancelled. Southern districts are more vulnerable,” Upadhyay said. (ANI)

 

Students back from Ukraine should be allowed to complete studies, Hemant Soren writes to PM Modi

Ranchi (Jharkhand) [India]:  Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to give directions for appropriate steps to enable students who have returned from Ukraine to complete higher education in India.

“I have written to @PMOIndia appreciating his sincere efforts in ensuring evacuation of Indian students trapped in Ukraine and urged him to give necessary direction to the concerned ministry to take appropriate steps enabling such students to complete higher education in India,” Soren said in a tweet.
In his letter, Soren said more than 180 students have returned to Jharkhand from Ukraine.

“I would like to draw your kind attention towards the plight of students who have returned from Ukraine. Russian Invasion of Ukraine suddenly interrupted their studies and it was only due to your intervention that they could be rescued back home safely. More than 180 such students have returned to Jharkhand,” Soren said.

He said students have come back safely but “an uncertain future now seems to stare at them”.

“At present. there does not seem any possibility of the Ukraine war ending soon. There is thus no hope for them to return to Ukraine for pursuing their studies,” he said.

Soren said a large number of students pursuing higher studies in educational institutions of Ukraine were enrolled in courses of medical education and in the wake of the ongoing crisis “future of these students remains extremely uncertain”.

“This is causing immense mental hardship to such students and their family members. There have been demands that the government must take tangible steps to get them admitted in the medical colleges in India,” he said.

“I would urge you consider the plight of these students sympathetically and give necessary direction to the concerned Ministry to take appropriate steps enabling such students to complete their higher education in India,” the letter said. (ANI)

 

Amit Shah demands CBI probe in the murder of BJP worker in Bengal

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: Union Home Minister Amit Shah met the family of deceased Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) leader Arjun Chowrasia at Kolkata’s Kashipur on Friday.

Chowrasia was found hanging in Kashipur today morning. The police have not found any suicide note near his body. MHA has taken cognizance of the “murder” of the BJYM leader and has sought a report from the West Bengal government.

“BJP worker Arjun Chowrasia was politically murdered. BJP demands CBI inquiry into the incident. BJP neither fears nor believes in the politics of violence. TMC is conspiring to create an atmosphere of fear”, said Shah during his visit to Kashipur.

“According to his family, he was brutally murdered. Yesterday TMC government completed one year of its term and today political murders have started in the state. We have come across many examples of political violence, retaliatory killings and selective targeting of activists of the Opposition in Bengal”, added Shah.

Shah said that BJP condemns the murder of Arjun Chowrasia and it will ensure that the killer gets the harshest punishment.

“In no other province of the country, so many cases have been handed over to the CBI, but in Bengal it did. This shows that even the court doesn’t trust law and order and the police of West Bengal. Union Home Ministry has taken cognizance of the incident and has sought a report from the West Bengal government”, added Shah.

“I met the grieving family. His grandmother was also beaten”, said Shah.

BJP MLA Agnimitra Paul termed the BJYM leader’s death a “political killing”.

“Political Killings of BJP’S workers in West Bengal are not new and this has been happening for many years. A BJP worker was murdered when Union Home Minister Amit Shah is coming to Kolkata after one year. What message does CM Mamata Banerjee want to give to West Bengal? Whoever supports BJP, will they be killed?”, said Agnimitra Paul.

Meanwhile, Police removed protesters from the spot in Kashipur where BJP worker Arjun Chowrasia was found dead. The protesters were allegedly not allowing the body to be removed for postmortem.

“When an unnatural death occurs, Police take the body for investigation and postmortem. It’s a natural course of action. They have obstructed it with their bad intention of dirty politics. They’ve come from outside. So, we are strongly condemning it”, said Atin Ghosh, TMC MLA from Kashipur.

It’s worth mentioning that this is Amit Shah’s first visit to West Bengal after BJP lost the state Assembly polls in 2021. (ANI)

 

Mamata Banerjee claims BJP will not return to power in 2024, no CAA will be implemented

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]- Reacting to Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s remark about implementing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday claimed that the BJP will not return to power in 2024 and no CAA will be implemented.

The Chief Minister’s remark came soon after Union Home Minister Amit Shah slammed the Trinamool Congress for spreading rumours about the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and said that the Central government will implement it once the COVID-19 pandemic ends.
The Chief Minister also alleged that Amit Shah visited the state to help Border Security Force (BSF) infiltrate into politics.

While addressing the media persons, West Bengal CM said she respects BSF but BSF should not fall under Amit Shah’s trap.

“The Communist Party of India (Marxist) is BJP’s linkman. They believe in doing ‘tukda’. But they want to divorce Hindus and Muslims, they want to divide communities. Being the Home Minister of the country he has only misused the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). He is bringing the Delhi danga to Bengal,” said Banerjee.

The Chief Minister said that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act Bill has lapsed.

“They are talking about CAA. Then those who elected the PM and CMs were not citizens of this country? The CAA Bill has lapsed. Why are they not bringing this bill to Parliament? I don’t want the rights of citizens to be curbed. We all have to stay together, unity is our strength,” he added.

She further warned the Home Minister to stick to his job and not to interfere in BSF’s job.

“Amit Shah, I have respect for you as the Union Home Minister. But do not teach me what to do. Do not ask BSF to overrule the state. Your job is to guard borders with Nepal, Bhutan and Bangladesh. Their job is to stop cattle smuggling and infiltration. Do not play with fire,” said Banerjee.

Further replying to the media’s question on CAA, Banerjee exuded confidence that the BJP will not return to power in 2024 and CAA won’t be implemented.

“I am saying they will not come to power in 2024. No National Register of Citizens (NRC) and National Population Register (NPR) and CAA will happen. He should hide. He came here after one year. He came here to infiltrate BSF into politics,” she said.

“BJP only gives dialogues. They operate from Home Minister with ED, and CBI and trying to torch Bengal. They only want to do Durga Puja. If we don’t allow Durga Puja then how did UNESCO give the heritage tag to Durga Puja in West Bengal,” Mamata countered Amit Shah’s charge of the TMC government not allowing Durga Puja.

The Chief Minister said that in Bengal the law and order situation is good.

“In Bengal, the law and order situation is good, look at the state like UP. Is it not the work of the Union Home Minister to look after law and order there,” asked Banerjee.

She further warned the central government, “Don’t do things to bulldoze the democratic structure of the country and don’t play with fire, the people will retaliate by giving a befitting reply.”

“Don’t think the game is lost. I think good sense will prevail and they will come together. We have to fight the battle strongly and boldly, ” said West Bengal on being asked about Opposition unity.

The Home Minister (Amit Shah) should see what happened in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri, Uttar Pradesh and in Madhya Pradesh, not worry about Bengal. BJP’s work is to create divisiveness. What has he done as HM? They did violence even on the day of Eid, she added.(ANI)

 

Disaster Management issued alert to stay prepared for cyclone over Bay of Bengal

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India]: Issuing an alert to all the District Collectors of Coastal District the Special Relief Commissioner and Additional Chief Secretary to Government (Disaster Management), Pradeep Kumar Jena on Thursday asked them to stay prepared for a possible cyclone over the Bay of Bengal.

Jena had issued several instructions to the collector of 18 districts of Odisha namely, Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Khordha, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Jajpur, Bhadrak, Balasore, Nayagarh, Cuttack, Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar, Dhenkanal, Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, and Kandhamal.
In the issued advisory, Jena stated “Keeping in view a possible cyclone over the Bay of Bengal (as per the latest IMD guidelines), all preparedness measures are required to be undertaken well in advance to reduce the impacts of the cyclone.”

He has requested them (collectors) to take up several measures, on priority and mentioned, “District Emergency Operation Centre and Control Rooms of other offices must operate round the clock with adequate manpower, all communication equipment like phone, fax, etc should be in working condition. You may check the provided satellite phones and make test calls.”

The satellite phone, digital mobile radio communication systems have already been established in six coastal districts under the Early Warning Dissemination System (EWDS) project. Jena urged the collectors to ensure their use, if required.

In the advisory, he asked the collectors to identify all vulnerable people and shift them to safe shelters. He suggested them to prepare a detailed evacuation plan for people living in kutcha houses or living near the coast or in low lying areas and other vulnerable persons including old, PwDs, women and children to designated geo-tagged shelter buildings. He said, “all permanent and temporary safe shelter buildings may be identified and designated shelter buildings should be geo-tagged.”

“A team comprising three local officials (two male and one woman (such as ASHA/AWW/lady teacher/lady Constable/Home guard etc) may be kept in charge of each shelter,” it further stated.

As per the advisory, the aforesaid exercise is targetted to be completed by May 6; and the information on identified safe shelter building indicating latitude and longitude, name of the officials kept in charge and the mobile numbers of such teams/ officials must be furnished to Jeni.

He said that the Safe pucca school buildings/ public buildings in the vulnerable areas can also be identified as temporary shelters as per the requirement.

He asserted that all cyclone and flood shelters should be immediately checked by local Block Development Officer (BDO)/ Tehsildar and said that they should keep a check over water supply, functional toilets, generator, inflatable tower light, mechanical cutters and other equipment available in shelters.

The advisory also said that as the power supply is usually cut off during the peak period of the cyclone, all offices should make their backup power arrangement for that period. Generators available in the different offices including health institutions should be immediately checked for adequately stored fuel. (ANI)

 

Sachin Waze paid Rs 45 lakhs to Pradeep Sharma to kill businessman Mansukh Hiren: NIA

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) while opposing the bail plea of Shiv Sena leader and former encounter specialist of Mumbai Police Pradeep Sharma in Bombay High Court said that he was paid Rs 45 lakhs from suspended Mumbai Police officer Sachin Waze to kill Businessman Mansukh Hiren.

NIA in its affidavit to Bombay High Court on Wednesday termed Sharma the “main conspirator” in the Mansukh Hiren murder case.
Earlier in a chargesheet NIA had said, “On March 3, 2021, accused Sachin Waze met accused Pradeep Sharma at Police Station Foundation office, Andheri (East), Mumbai during evening time and handed over a rexine bag containing a large amount of cash (bundles of Indian currency note of Rs 500 denomination). Thereafter accused Pradeep Sharma called accused Santosh Shelar to ascertain the registration number of the vehicle arranged by him. Accused Santosh Shelar conveyed the details as to accused Sachin Waze.”

The chargesheet had also revealed that on realising that the investigation relating to the planting of an explosive-laden SUV at Carmichael Road in South Mumbai, near the house of industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence on February 25, was getting transferred to a senior police officer, Waze pressurised Hiran to take up the responsibility for the said crime, so that the investigation of the case can be vitiated in his favour. But the proposal was turned down by Hiran, stated the chargesheet.

NIA arrested Waze in March 2021 in connection with the investigation into the recovery of explosives from a car parked near Mukesh Ambani’s house in Mumbai. Waze is the prime accused in placing an explosives-laden vehicle near Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani’s house Antilia in Mumbai on February 25, 2021.

He is also accused in the murder of Mansukh Hiren case, the owner of the vehicle that was found containing explosives materials outside Antilia. Hiren was found dead on March 5 in Thane. (ANI)

 

Chardham Yatra: Ban on vehicle movement on mountain routes from 10 am to 4 pm

Dehradun (Uttarakhand) [India]: Uttarakhand government has decided to impose a ban on the movement of vehicles on mountain routes in the state from 10 am to 4 pm in view of the Chardham Yatra.

“It has been decided by the government to ban the movement of vehicles on mountain routes from 10.00 am to 4.00 pm during Chardham Yatra,” Uttarakhand Transport Commissioner Ranveer Singh Chouhan told ANI.
The decision has been taken for the convenience and safe journey of the pilgrims on Chardham Yatra.

He said this year’s Chardham Yatra is expected to attract a large number of pilgrims.

The Chardham Yatra begins on Akshaya Tritiya when the doors of Gangotri-Yamnotri are opened. The doors of Kedarnath Dham will be opened for devotees on May 6 and Badrinath Dham on May 8. (ANI)

 

Odisha CM transfers Rs 800 crore financial assistance to 40 lakh farmers

Bhubaneswar (Odisha) [India]: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday distributed the financial assistance of Rs 800 crore directly to the bank account of 40 lakh small and marginal farmers of the state.

The transfer was made under Krushak Assistance for Livelihood and Income Augmentation (KALIA) scheme on the occasion of Akshay Tritiya and Krishak Diwas.
On the occasion, Chief Minister advised farmers to utilise the money for the cultivation of crops and use it for agriculture purposes only.

“Development of Agriculture and farmers’ welfare is the most important programs of the state government. This year more than Rs 20,000 crore has been provided in the budget for Agriculture,” said Chief Minister.

According to the state government, as many as Eight new agricultural development programs were launched on the occasion including the Jackfruit Mission and ReWARD (Rejuvenating Watershed for Agricultural Resilience through Innovative Development) program, the Millet Mission and the Special Program for the Promotion of Integrated Farming.

A total of Rs 97 crore has been allocated for the promotion of Jackfruit cultivation in nine districts under the Jackfruit Mission and Rs 500 crore has been allocated to increase the productivity of farmland through a scientific watershed program under the ReWARD scheme.

Similarly, Rs 2,808 crore has been provisioned for farmers in 182 blocks of 19 districts under Odisha Millet Mission, while Rs 239 crore has been earmarked for the special program to promote integrated farming among 1.8 lakh farming families in 8 districts. A total of Rs 3,644 crore will be spent on these four programmes.

Chief Minister added that the “state government is stressing on capital investment in agriculture and they will continue with their efforts to develop farming a profitable occupation.”

On this occasion, Chief Minister inaugurated the new ‘Krishak Odisha’ portal for the farming community of the State Farmers can get required services and advice by updating their data on it.

In addition to this, Chief Minister also launched the Go-Sugam portal for farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs. This is the first of its kind single Windows platform for farmers in the country.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was also signed between the International Food Policy Research Institute and the Department of Agriculture, Odisha to formulate a realistic policy to increase farmers’ incomes in agriculture and allied sectors. (ANI)

 

Stalin appeals to contribute to humanitarian relief material for Sri Lanka

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India]: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Tuesday appealed to people to contribute to the humanitarian relief material to be sent to the people of Sri Lanka in their economic crisis situation.

Earlier on Monday, Stalin thanked the External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar for accepting Tamil Nadu’s request on supplementing India’s humanitarian aid to Sri Lanka, an island nation gripped by a severe economic crisis.
Tamil Nadu Assembly had passed a resolution seeking permission to supply rice and essential medicines as an aid to Sri Lanka. Responding to that, Jaishankar said that Tamil Nadu Government’s assistance can supplement what is being provided by the government of India and informed that Sri Lanka prefers inclusive distribution.

Taking to Twitter, Stalin had written, “A personal thanks to Hon’ble @DrSJaishankar for accepting Tamil Nadu’s request to help the people of Sri Lanka. I am sure that this humane gesture will be greatly welcomed by all and help to improve the warmth and cordiality between nations. Let the goodwill grow in all spheres.”

Jaishankar in a letter addressed to CM Stalin had said that the mission in Colombo was consulted over Tamil Nadu’s request. The Ministry in a letter stated, “MEA offers that Tamil Nadu Government’s assistance can supplement what is being provided by the government of India. The Government of Sri Lanka’s preference is for inclusive distribution.”

On the proposal by the Tamil Nadu government to provide humanitarian assistance to the Island nation, Jaishankar had noted the state government can direct TN Chief Secretary to coordinate with the Centre for supplying the relief material.

The EAM had said, “You may wish to direct TN Chief Secretary to coordinate with Government of India for supply and distribution of humanitarian relief material to Sri Lankan Government. Relief material will be shared with the Government of Sri Lanka to be distributed appropriately in the current circumstances.”

Presently, Sri Lanka is struggling with acute food and electricity shortages, forcing the country to seek help from its neighbours. The recession is attributed to foreign exchange shortages caused by a clampdown on tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic. The country is unable to buy sufficient fuel and gas, while the people are being deprived of basic amenities as well. (ANI)

 

Karnataka: Home Minister Amit Shah arrives in Bengaluru for Cabinet expansion talks

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India]: Union Minister Amit Shah on Tuesday reached Bengaluru for his day-long visit to the southern state that is set to go to polls early next year.

Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, Lok Sabha MP Tejasvi Surya, and Bharatiya Janata Party National Secretary CT Ravi are among the dignitaries who welcomed the Union minister at HAL airport on his arrival in Bengaluru.
Union Home Minister is likely to discuss state cabinet expansion with the Chief Minister during his visit.

“Amit Shah is likely to visit Bengaluru on May 3 and I would try to use the opportunity to seek an audience to discuss cabinet expansion,” Bommai said earlier.

Meanwhile, Minister of Cooperation Shah will inaugurate Nrupathunga University and NATGRID campus during his day-long engagement in various public events in Bengaluru.

The Home Minister is likely to start his day by paying tributes to Sri Basavanna on Basava Jayanthi at 10 am in the city’s Basaveshwar Circle.

Then he will lay the foundation stone of Nrupathunga University, formerly called Government Science College.

The college was established by the erstwhile Mysore Maharaja Nalvadi Krishnaraja Wadiyar. From an undergraduate college, it started teaching postgraduate courses with a research programme and later received university status in 2020.

At the event, the Home Minister will participate in the e-inauguration of the forensic science laboratory in Bellari and later launch the E-Beat App.

At the noon, the Home Minister will inaugurate the Bengaluru NATGRID Campus in the city’s Sathnur village.

At an event organized at 5.30 pm in Sree Kantheerava Outdoor Stadium, the Home Minister will participate in the closing ceremony of the Khelo India University Games-2021. (ANI)

 

UP: Gangster’s daughter found dead after police raid his house; SHO suspended

Chandauli (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: The daughter of gangster Kanhaiya Yadav was found dead after police raided his house on Sunday following which a crowd gathered at the house alleging that the girl was thrashed to death by a police officer.

“Nisha, daughter of gangster Kanhaiya Yadav was found dead in her house. The deceased was allegedly thrashed by the SHO of Saiyyedraja police station after which she died,” said Sanjeev Singh, District Magistrate Varanasi told reporters.
The younger daughter of the gangster was also allegedly thrashed and has suffered serious injuries.

“She is currently admitted to the hospital and is undergoing treatment,” Singh said.

The DM further informed that the officer has been suspended while the body has been sent for postmortem.

“The SHO was suspended and the process is underway to lodge FIR on getting a complaint from the family of the deceased,” he added.

The incident has led to protests against police officials by the local villagers near the residence of Kanhaiya Yadav. Samajwadi Party leaders and workers have also reached the spot and joined the protest.

“Police went to the house of Kanhaiya Yadav. He was not there. Then they assaulted his daughters. The elder one has died while the younger one is admitted in the hospital,” said SP leader Prabhu Narayan Singh Yadav. (ANI)

 

40 flyers ‘injured’ in SpiceJet Mumbai-Durgapur flight turbulence; DGCA to probe

Durgapur (West Bengal) [India]: At least 13 passengers have sustained serious injuries after a SpiceJet flight operating from Mumbai to Durgapur in West Bengal encountered severe turbulence while landing on Sunday evening, sources said.

The Boeing B737 aircraft operating as SpiceJet flight SG-945 were provided with immediate medical assistance upon arrival in Durgapur, and the airline said that it is “providing all possible medical help to the injured”.
According to sources,, passengers sustained injuries as cabin baggage fell on many of them, leading to head injuries to several flyers. However, the flight landed safely at Durgapur airport. The injured passengers were rushed to the hospital.

Speaking to ANI, an injured passenger Akbar Ansari said that the mid-air turbulence was a result of extremely bad weather.

“The flight was about to land at Durgapur airport when the aircraft began to hobble as the flight experienced massive turbulence following extreme bad weather. A Few passengers were severely injured during this major mid-air turbulence,” Ansari said.

SpiceJet has expressed its regret in a statement.

“SpiceJet Boeing B737 aircraft operating flight SG-945 from Mumbai to Durgapur encountered severe turbulence during descent which unfortunately resulted in injuries to a few passengers. Immediate medical assistance was provided upon arrival in Durgapur,” a SpiceJet spokesperson said.

The matter has been reported to the aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), and a probe has begun. (ANI)

Kerala: Student dies of food poisoning, 18 fall sick after consuming shawarma

Kasargod (Kerala) [India]: A 17-year-old schoolgirl has died and 18 others have fallen sick due to suspected food poisoning after consuming “rotten shawarma” at a food stall in Cheruvathur town of Kasaragod district in Kerala.

“A team of doctors including a paediatrician examined Devananda (deceased) but could not save her life. Rest a total of 18 students are admitted in the hospital and all of them are in stable condition,” said Kasargod Medical Officer on Sunday.
The Kerala Health minister Veena George has directed an investigation into the incident and has sought a report from the authorities.

Meanwhile, the shop where students consumed shawarma has been sealed and the cook has been taken into custody by police.

“The shop has been closed and the cook has been taken into custody. Food poisoning may be the primary reason for this. Health Department is monitoring the situation. A special team has also been constituted to investigate the matter,” said M Rajagopalan, MLA Trikaripur.

The MLA further informed that the samples of the shawarma have also been sent for testing. (ANI)

Mobile internet suspended in Patiala, CM transfers IG, SSP, SP

Patiala (Punjab) [India]: Mobile internet services have been temporarily suspended on Saturday in Punjab’s Patiala, which a day ago witnessed clashes between two groups in which four people were injured. Three senior police officials have also been transferred in connection with the incident on the directions of chief minister Bhagwant Mann.

CM Mann has directed the transfer with immediate effect of Inspector General of Police (IG) Patiala range, Rakesh Aggarwal, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Patiala, Nanak Singh and Superintendent of Police (SP) Harpal Singh, according to a spokesperson from the chief minister’s office.
Authorities imposed a curfew in the district yesterday till 6 am today after clashes broke out near the Kali Devi Temple in Patiala city on Friday afternoon as members of two groups hurled stones and brandished swords at each other. Police personnel were deployed to bring under control the situation. Two policemen were among those injured.

On Saturday morning the Punjab government temporarily suspended mobile internet services from 9:30 am to 6 pm in the city today.

“… there is likelihood of tension, annoyance, obstruction or injury to persons, danger to human life and property, disturbance of public peace and tranquility within the limits of district Patiala due to the recent law and order events,” an official order read.

By stopping the spread of misinformation is necessary “to thwart the designs and activities of anti-national and anti-social groups/ elements and maintain peace and communal harmony and to prevent any loss of life or damage to public/private property,” the order said.

“.. (i) Mobile internet services (2G/3G/4G/CDMA) (ii) all SMS services and (iii) all dongle services etc. provided on mobile networks except voice calls in the territorial jurisdiction of the District of Patiala from 9:30 am to 6 pm on April 30,” the official order said.

After the clashes the Shiv Sena on Friday expelled from its Punjab unit working president Harish Singla who had led a march in Patiala on Friday after which clashes broke out in the city. Singla was later arrested in connection with the incident. Locals say the situation is peaceful and devotees continue to visit the temple today.

Patiala Deputy Commissioner Sakshi Sawhney confirmed the development and said that one person has been arrested with regard to the clashes.

She said, “FIRs have been lodged and raids are underway. We appeal to public to maintain peace. From 9.30 am to 6pm today, mobile internet services will remain temporarily suspended as a step of abundant caution by the government. One person has been arrested.”

Patiala’s Senior Superintendent of Police, Nanak Singh told reporters today that the police and administration will share factual information and no misinformation should be believed in the said incident.

Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann has ordered a probe into the clash and said that strict action will be taken against those behind the violence. (ANI)

Odisha: 58-year-old BJD MLA appears for Class 10th exam!

Phulbani (Odisha) [India]: A 58-year-old MLA from Odisha’s Phulbani who left education in the year 1978 due to family reasons is proving the old saying ‘age is no bar for learning’ by appearing for Class 10th examination this year.

Angada Kanhar, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MLA from Phulbani, on Friday appeared for the first paper in the ongoing Matric examination being conducted by the Board of Secondary Education (BSE).
Kanhar was seen along with his two friends appearing for the English paper at Rujangi High School.

Before entering the examination hall, Kanhar said, “I was in my class 10 in 1978, but was unable to appear for exams due to some family issues. Recently, I was told that many people at the age of 50 or more are appearing for exams. So, I too decided to appear for the board exams. There is no age barrier to appear for exams or to get educated.”

Kanhar is not the sole politician, who is appearing for the examination. He is being joined by one of his friends who is a Sarpanch.

“We are conducting board Exams at our centre which is open school exams. This is a special exam conducted for those who had to leave their studies midway for some reason. As many as 63 students have appeared for SIOS exam at our centre including Phulbani MLA Angad Kanhar and one of his friend who is a Sarpanch. This examination will get over by May 10,” said Archana Bas, Headmistress, Rujangi High School.

A total of 5.8 lakh students are appearing for the Class 10 state board examination in Odisha that commenced on Friday. (ANI)

Delhi logs 1,607 fresh COVID cases, 2 deaths

New Delhi [India]: The national capital reported 1,607 fresh COVID-19 infections on Friday, taking the active caseload to 5,609 in the city, informed a health bulletin by the Delhi government.

The city reported the highest number of fresh infections since February 4 this year when 2,272 cases were recorded, according to the Delhi health department.
The daily case positivity rate stands at 5.28 per cent.

As many as 1,246 COVID patients recovered from the disease yesterday. The total number of recoveries since the onset of the pandemic in the city has gone up to 18,49,772.

Two COVID-affected persons succumbed to the virus during this period, taking the death toll in the national capital to 26,174.

As per the official data, more than 30,000 COVID samples were tested in the city yesterday.

Under the nationwide COVID-19 vaccination drive, a total of 60,287 eligible beneficiaries were administered coronavirus vaccine doses on Friday in Delhi.

So far, 3,34,01,239 vaccine doses have been provided in the national capital. (ANI)

Jignesh Mevani gets bail in assault case

New Delhi [India]: A local court of Assam has granted bail to Independent MLA Jignesh Mevani in case of alleged assault on a policewoman and he is likely to be released on Saturday, said his lawyer Anghsuman Bora.

“A local court of Barpeta district of Assam granted bail to Jignesh Mevani in case of alleged assault on a policewoman. He is expected to be released on April 30 owing to some formalities,” Bora told ANI.
Mevani was remanded to five days of police custody by a local court in the Barpeta district on Tuesday in connection with an assault case.

Earlier on Monday, Mevani was re-arrested by Barpeta Police for assaulting a policewoman, soon after he was granted bail in the matter connected to his tweets about Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Mevani was arrested by an Assam police team from Palanpur town in Gujarat over a couple of his tweets.

An FIR was filed against him after a complaint was filed by an Assam BJP leader, Arup Kumar Dey. A case was lodged against Mevani under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), section 153(A) (promoting enmity between two communities), 295(A), and 504 (intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of peace), and sections of the IT Act.

A couple of tweets on Mevani’s Twitter handle are not visible on his feed with a message displaying that the tweets have been withheld in India based on a “legal demand”.

Mevani claimed that he was arrested out of a political vendetta against him.

The Assam state Congress unit had protested the arrest of the Gujarat legislator. Elected as an independent MLA, Mevani had extended his support to Congress in September 2019. (ANI)

Covid Threat : IIT Madras reports 180+ COVID cases so far

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India]: A total of 181 COVID-19 cases reported from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras till now, informed Tamil Nadu Health Secretary Dr J Radhakrishnan on Thursday.

The Health Secretary informed that IIT Madras has not been closed as of now, however, the government along with campus authorities are trying their best to ensure that the COVID cluster does not spread to the other places from the university.
“Total 171 Covid19 cases detected in IIT-Madras campus till now,” Radhakrishnan said in a briefing yesterday.

Further, he said, “Few more cases have been reported in IIT Madras. These all are part of our saturation test. There is nothing to panic about. We have not closed the institution. We are ensuring that the cluster doesn’t spread to other places.”

Meanwhile, the IIT Madras authorities have asked people to get themselves tested in case they observe any COVID-19-related symptoms and advised everyone to wear masks, maintain social distancing, and practice all COVID-19 safety protocols.

Earlier on Wednesday, IIT Madras had 111 COVID-19 positive cases in the campus, according to the Tamil Nadu health department. (ANI)

 

PM Modi, Ratan Tata inaugurate 7 ultra-modern cancer hospitals in Assam

Dibrugarh (Assam) [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with industrialist Ratan Tata on Thursday inaugurated seven state-of-the-art cancer hospitals and laid the foundation stone for seven new cancer hospitals.

“Today, 7 new cancer hospitals have been inaugurated in Assam. There was a time, even one hospital getting opened up in 7 years was a thing to celebrate. Times have changed now. I have been told 3 more cancer hospitals will be ready for your service in a few months,” PM Modi said.
Speaking at the event in Dibrugarh, the Prime Minister said that his government has also focussed on preventive healthcare with yoga, fitness and cleanliness.

“Hospitals are at your service but I will be happy if these new hospitals remain empty; I pray for your health… our govt has also focussed on preventive healthcare with yoga, fitness, ‘swachhata’. New testing centers are being opened up in the country,” he said.

Ratan Tata, who was also present at the event, said, “I dedicate my last years to health. Make Assam a state that recognizes and is recognized by all.”

Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma expressed his gratitude to Ratan Tata and the Government of India for their contribution saying that the largest cancer care treatment will benefit Assam as well as South East Asia.

“Largest cancer care treatment to benefit Assam as well as South East Asia… This is a huge achievement for us. I am grateful to Ratan Tata, GoI for their contribution,” he said.

Assam Cancer Care Foundation, a joint venture of the Government of Assam and Tata Trusts, is executing a project to build South Asia’s largest affordable cancer care network with 17 Cancer care hospitals spread across the state.

Under Phase 1 of the project, out of 10 hospitals, the construction of seven hospitals have been completed while three hospitals are at various level of construction. Phase 2 of the project will witness the construction of seven new cancer hospitals.

The Prime Minister, today at Dibrugarh, dedicated to the nation, seven cancer hospitals completed under phase 1 of the project. These cancer hospitals are built at Dibrugarh, Kokrajhar, Barpeta, Darrang, Tezpur, Lakhimpur, and Jorhat.

The Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of seven new cancer hospitals at Dhubri, Nalbari, Goalpara, Nagaon, Sivasagar, Tinsukia and Golaghat to be constructed under phase 2 of the project. (ANI)

Karnataka CM supports Kiccha Sudeep’s remarks on Hindi, says regional language is most important

Hubli (Karnataka) [India]: After the Twitter spat between Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn and Kannada actor Kichcha Sudeep over the Hindi’s status as the national language, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Thursday extended support to Sudeep saying that regional language is the most important.

Speaking to media persons here, Bommai said, “What Kiccha Sudeep said was correct. A regional language is the most important as a state is formed on linguistic bases.”
He further added that everyone should understand and respect what Sudeep has said.

“The Mother tongue or the regional language of the concerned state is supreme. Everyone should understand and respect that. Our States have been formed on a linguistic basis. So the concerned state language or the mother tongue should get prominence and supremacy. Everyone should understand and respect that,” Bommai said.

In Bengaluru, members of Karnataka Rakshana Vedike, a pro-Kannada organisation, were detained by the police during their protest against Ajay Devgn for his Hindi national language statement.

Earlier today, former Chief Ministers HD Kumaraswamy and Siddaramaiah, also commented on Devgn and Sudeepa’s Twitter exchange.

Taking to Twitter, Kumaraswamy wrote, “Actor Kiccha Sudeep saying that Hindi is not a National Language is correct. There is nothing to find fault in his statement. Actor Ajay Devgn is not only hyper in nature but also shows his ludicrous behaviour.”

He attacked the Central government for doing language politics and said Devgan is “blabbering as a mouthpiece of the BJP’s Hindi nationalism agenda”.

“From the beginning, Hindi-based political parties at the Centre have been making efforts to destroy regional languages. Congress which started surprising regional languages is being continued by the BJP,” he tweeted.”

“Ajaya Devgan’s blabbered as a mouthpiece of BJP’s Hindi Nationalism of one nation, one tax, one language and one government,” Kumaraswamy said in a subsequent tweet.

He further said if a large population speaks Hindi, it does not mean, it becomes the national language.

Ajay Devgan must realise that Kannada cinema is outgrowing the Hindi film industry, he added.

“Just because a large population speaks Hindi, it doesn’t become a national language. Less than nine states, from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, have Hindi as 2nd, 3rd language or not even that. This being situation what is the truth in Ajay Devgan’s statement? What do you mean by not to dub?” he questioned in another tweet.

“Devgan must realise that Kannada cinema is outgrowing Hindi film industry. Because of encouragement by Kannadigas Hindi cinema has grown. Devgan shouldn’t forget that his first movie ‘Phool aur Kaante’ ran for a year in Bengaluru,” he tweeted further.

While Siddaramaiah said, “Hindi was never and will never be our National Language. It is the duty of every Indian to respect the linguistic diversity of our Country. Each language has its own rich history for its people to be proud of. I am proud to be a Kannadiga!!”

Bollywood actor Ajay Devgn, who’s awaiting the release of his upcoming film, ‘Runway 34’, on Friday, got into a war of words with South star Kichcha Sudeepa after the latter’s comment that Hindi is no longer India’s national language.

As per media reports, during an event, Sudeepa stated that “Hindi is no more a national language.” Following this, Devgn took to his Twitter handle and expressed his views on Sudeepa’s comment.

In Hindi, he wrote, “Kiccha Sudeep, my brother, according to you, if Hindi is not our national language then why do you release your native language [mother tongue] films by dubbing them in Hindi? Hindi was, is and always will be our mother tongue and national language. Jan Gan Man.” (ANI)

62 terrorists killed so far this year, 39 belong to LeT: JK Police

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India]: Jammu and Kashmir Police on Thursday informed that as many as 62 terrorists have been killed so far this year, of which 47 were local terrorists and 15 were foreign terrorists.

The Inspector-General of Police in Kashmir, Vijay Kumar highlighted about the details and said that 39 of the ones killed so far this year belong to the terrorist outfit group named Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT).
“Total #terrorists killed in encounters so far this year= 62 #Terror #Outfit wise: LeT = 39, JeM=15, HM =06, Al-Badr =02. Among the total 62 killed terrorists, 47 were local terrorists & 15 #foreign terrorists: IGP Kashmir @JmuKmrPolice,” tweeted Kashmir Zone Police today.

This comes days after Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Palli Panchayat area in Samba district wherein he inaugurated and laid the foundation stone of several developmental schemes.

Moreover, this news pours hours after two Al-Badr terrorists involved in attacks on non-local people in the Union Territory were killed in an operation in south Kashmir’s Pulwama district early Thursday, Jammu and Kashmir police said. A police officer said that a gunfight broke out after a joint team of police and army launched a search operation in the Mitrigam area of the district last evening. (ANI)

 

Mamata Banerjee ups ante against Centre, calls to limit BSF within 50 km

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: In a move which may provoke the Bharatiya Janata Party-led Central government, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday asked the Cooch Behar Police not to allow the Border Security Force (BSF) to allow beyond 50 kms from the international border.

The West Bengal Chief Minister also alleged that the “BSF is entering the villages and beating people while also throwing them on the other side of the international border”.
“Don’t allow BSF to enter 50 kms of the area beyond the international border in the state because they are entering the village, killing people and throwing them on the other side. Ask the BSF to take state police in confidence while working on any operation,” the Chief Minister said in a virtual meeting with the senior officials of the state police.

The Central government had last year amended the BSF Act to authorise the border guarding force to undertake search, seizure and arrest within a 50 km stretch, up from the previous limit of 15 kms, from the international border in Punjab, West Bengal and Assam.

The amendment had triggered a political slugfest over the role of the BSF and the state police in maintaining the law and order situation in the respective states.

Punjab and West Bengal governments even passed resolutions in November last year against the Centre’s decision to extend the BSF jurisdiction from 15 kms to 50 kms of the international borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh. They asked the Central government to withdraw the order passed on October 11, 2021.

Central and West Bengal governments have been at loggerheads for the past many years over various issues, especially the law and order situations in the state.

Banerjee, in a meeting with State Police, even claimed that the law and order situation is good in the state but some sections of the media are deliberately spreading misinformation and said that cases are lodged in West Bengal but not in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.

“A case of death by suicide was portrayed as a rape case by the opposition parties. The BJP and CPI(M) are both trying to defame West Bengal. We will not let Bengal become Hathras or Unnao,” she said.

However, she also questioned the West Bengal Police about the recent incidents that took place in the state. (ANI)

Temple Incident: TN CM Stalin Rs 5 lakh and PM Modi announces Rs 2 lakh compensation

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India]: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin has announced a compensation of Rs five lakh to the families of victims who died due to electrocution during the chariot procession of Appar Swami Temple in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu on Wednesday.

“Rs 5 lakh of compensation will be immediately provided to the to the families of victims (in electrocution incident) from Chief Minister’s Relief Fund,” said the Chief Minister’s office.
The Chief Minister also expressed grief over the death of 11 people in the incident.

“This morning in Kalimedu village of Thanjavur district, unexpectedly at the chariot festival eleven people died in the electrocution incident. I was deeply saddened to hear the tragic news. My deepest condolences to the families of the victim,” said CM Stalin.

The Chief Minister also said that he has ordered the district administration and police to expedite the rescue operation.

Meanwhile, an FIR has been registered and an investigation has started into the incident.

“A total of 11 people have died. Three people died on the spot and seven died in the hospital. 15 people are injured and have been taken to Thanjavur Medical College for treatment. FIR has been filed and an investigation into the matter has started,” said V. Balakrishnan Inspector General of Police, Tiruchi Range.

The incident took place in Kalimedu village after a temple car, part of an annual chariot procession of Appar Swami Temple in Thanjavur district of Tamil Nadu, came in contact with a high voltage overhead line. (ANI)

Tamil Nadu: Probe begins in Thanjavur temple chariot festival electrocution incident, 11 dead

Thanjavur (Tamil Nadu) [India]: An FIR has been registered and an investigation has started in connection with deaths due to electrocution during the chariot procession in Appar Swami temple of Tamil Nadu’s Thanjavur on Wednesday.

“A total of 11 people have died. Three people died on the spot and seven died in the hospital. 15 people are injured and have been taken to Thanjavur Medical College for treatment. FIR has been filed and an investigation into the matter has started,” said V. Balakrishnan Inspector General of Police, Tiruchi Range.

The police official said that the incident occurred after the temple car came in contact with a high voltage power line and went up in flames.

“Prima facie it suggests that some high tension wire came in contact with the temple car (of chariot festival) during the annual chariot festival in the Kallimedu village,” said Balakrishnan.

“The temple car was negotiating a turn and faced some obstacle before being reversed when it came in contact with the overhead line,” he added.

More details are awaited. (ANI)

Hardik Patel dismisses rumours of his joining BJP, but upset with his party

Tapi (Gujarat) [India]: Amid speculation of his joining the BJP, Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee working president Hardik Patel on Monday dismissed the rumours saying he has no such plans and said that he is upset with the state party leadership.

“People will say a lot of things. When Joe Biden won the US elections, I praised him. This is because his vice president is of Indian origin. But does this mean I will join Biden’s party?” he said while speaking to the media.
Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee working president is reportedly unhappy with the party and has, in recent days, praised the ruling BJP. He lauded the BJP for revoking Article 370 and the construction of Ram Mandir. The Congress leader said that such decisions of the party should be commended.

Issuing a clarification about his praise for the BJP, the Congress leader said, “If a rival has a good quality, then, in politics, we will have to think about it. If they make bold decisions, we will also have to make bold decisions. If you waste your time, then people will leave you. There are many young people who want to work for the party. I openly wish that such youngsters should get an opportunity”.

Patel further said that he is not upset with party leaders Rahul Gandhi or Priyanka Gandhi but he is upset with the state leadership.

“I am not upset with Rahul Gandhi or Priyanka Gandhi. I am upset with the state leadership. Why am I upset? Elections are coming up and in such times work should be done together with honest and strong people. They should be given positions,” he added.

The Congress leader said that there are a lot of youngsters who want to work for the party and help it flourish and demanded that such youngsters should be given a decent space in the party.

“People who work at the rural level to strengthen the party should be given opportunities. It is poll time, go to villages, work hard in cities. As far as being upset is concerned, questions come up in a family and talks are held. I clarified earlier too to not spread rumours,” Patel added.

Hardik Patel emerged as the leader of the Patidar agitation demanding reservation for the community in Gujarat in 2015 and later joined Congress. (ANI)

Take money from KCR, but vote for US: BJP urges people of Telangana

Mahbubnagar (Telangana) [India]: Telangana Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Bandi Sanjay on Sunday asked people to take money from Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) but vote for the BJP while accusing Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao of allegedly distributing money for votes.

The BJP leader held the Praja Sangrama Yatra in Patherched Village, Mahbubnagar district on Sunday.
Addressing the gathering, Sanjay said, “What KCR believes is if he gives money, poor people will vote for him. I say take the money from him. In this way, his bank balance will reduce or else he will become richer and you will become poor. You have to take the money if he gives Rs 5,000 or Rs 10,000 just accept it.”

“Whatever the money he is distributing in the election it is your money given by PM Modi for different government schemes but he is transferring that money for the elections. Poor people will never sell their vote. Poor people will have honesty and commitment,” he added.

Referring to Dubbak and Huzurabad by-elections, Sanjay said TRS distributed money prior to the elections but people voted for the BJP.

“During Dubbak and Huzurabad by-elections, TRS distributed Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 for votes People accepted but while voting they voted for the BJP. In both these by-elections, we have won the sitting seats held by TRS. In the same way, we have also won in the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation election from 4 seats to 48 seats,” added the BJP leader.

Assembly polls in Telangana is slated for next year. (ANI)

 

Lakhimpur Kheri: Ashish Mishra surrenders in court after SC cancels bail

Lakhimpur Kheri (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: Union Minister Ajay Mishra’s son Ashish Mishra, an accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case, surrendered before the magistrate at the district jail on Sunday.

The accused surrendered a week after Supreme Court cancelled his bail and asked him to surrender in a week.
The top court set aside the Allahabad High Court order dated February 10, 2022, and remit the matter back to the High Court. It said that the order of the Allahabad High Court cannot be sustained and has to be set aside and bail bonds of the respondent/accused are cancelled.

The Court clarified that it has not expressed any opinion either on facts or merits, and said that “all questions of law are left open for the High Court to consider and decide.”

Eight people, including four farmers, were killed in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence on October 3, 2021. Mishra allegedly ran over the farmers who were protesting against the Centre’s three farm Laws. He was arrested on October 9 and granted bail in February 2022.

Family members of the victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri incident moved the Supreme Court challenging the Allahabad High Court order, which granted bail to Ashish Mishra.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had appointed a committee headed by retired Punjab and Haryana high court judge Rakesh Kumar Jain to monitor the probe into the Lakhimpur Kheri violence. (ANI)

Jammu-Kashmir : PM Modi inaugurates projects worth Rs 20,000 cr.

Samba (Jammu and Kashmir) [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his first major visit to Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370 on Sunday inaugurated and laid the foundation of multiple development initiatives worth Rs 20,000 crore in the Union Territory.

“Projects worth Rs 20,000 crore related to connectivity and electricity have been inaugurated here today. In a bid to bid speed up the development in Jammu and Kashmir, many development initiatives are being taken up in the Union Territory,” said PM Modi in Palli Panchayat of Samba district.
PM Modi further said that these initiatives will provide huge employment opportunities to the youth of Jammu and Kashmir.

Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of Ratle and Kwar Hydroelectric projects. The 850 MW Ratle Hydroelectric Project will be constructed on Chenab river in Kishtwar District at a cost of around Rs 5300 crore. The 540 MW Kwar Hydroelectric Project will also be built on the Chenab river in Kishtwar District at a cost of over Rs 4500 crore. Both the projects will help meet the power requirements of the region.

“With the inauguration of a 500 KW solar power plant at Palli in Samba District, it is moving towards becoming the country’s first panchayat to become carbon neutral…The people of Palli have demonstrated what ‘Sabka prayas’ can do,” said PM Modi.

Prime Minister inaugurated the Banihal Qazigund Road Tunnel, built at a cost of over Rs 3100 crore. The 8.45 Km long tunnel would reduce the road distance between Banihal and Qazigund by 16 km, and reduce journey time by around one and a half hour.

It is a twin-tube tunnel – one for each direction of travel – with the twin tubes being interconnected by a cross passage every 500m, for maintenance and emergency evacuation. The tunnel would help establish an all-weather connection between Jammu and Kashmir and bring the two regions closer.

Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of three road packages of Delhi-Amritsar-Katra Expressway, being built at a cost of over Rs. 7500 crore. They are for the construction of 4/6 lane access controlled Delhi-Katra-Amritsar Expressway from: Balsua on NH-44 to Gurha Baildaran, Hiranagar; Gurha Baildaran, Hiranagar to Jakh, Vijaypur; and Jakh, Vijaypur to Kunjwani, Jammu with spur connectivity to Jammu Airport.

In order to further expand the network of Jan Aushadi Kendras in Jammu and Kashmir and to make good quality generic medicines at affordable prices available, 100 Kendras made functional were also dedicated to the nation by the Prime Minister.

These Kendras are located in the remote corners of the UT. He will also inaugurate a 500 KW solar power plant at Palli, which will make it the country’s first panchayat to become carbon neutral.

Prime Minister also visited the INTACH photo gallery which depicts the rural heritage of the region, and Nokia Smartpur, a rural entrepreneurship-based model designed to create ideal smart villages in India.

PM Modi is addressing a gathering of more than 30,000 Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI) members of Jammu and Kashmir, while PRIs from across the country are connected virtually for the Prime Minister’s address. (ANI)

Hanuman Chalisa row: Kirit Somaiya accuses Shiv Sena of attacking him

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]- Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Kirit Somaiya claimed he was injured in alleged stone-pelting by Shiv Sena workers in Mumbai on Saturday.

Somaiya has now reached Bandra Police Station following the alleged attack on him.

In a series of Twitter posts, Somaiya said, “Heavy stone-throwing at Khar Police Station by Shiv Sena gundas (goons), my car window glass broken, I am injured, rushing to Bandra police station,” Somaiya said.

“I am shocked, in the presence of 50 police persons, on the campus of Khar police station, Shiv Sena’s 100 gundas assault me with stones. Wanted to kill me. What the Police Commissioner is doing? How are so many mafia Sena gundas allowed to gather in the police station?” he said.

Somaiya further alleged that this was the third time he was attacked.

“This is the third time Uddhav Thackeray’s gundas tried to kill me, first at Vashim, then Pune and now at Police Station (Khar Mumbai) itself,” he said.

Meanwhile, former Maharashtra Chief Minister and BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis demanded action against the alleged attack on party leader Kirit Somaiya.

“It is a total collapse of the law and order situation in Mumbai and Maharashtra! Goons attacked BJP leader Kirit Somaiya ji right in front of Khar Police Station and in presence of police personnel. This is absolutely unacceptable! We demand the strongest action!” tweeted Fadnavis.

Earlier on Saturday, Somaiya visited Khar Police Station to meet Amravati MP Navneet Rana and her husband MLA Ravi Rana who were arrested on Saturday.

Before reaching Khar police station, he said, “I will go to Khar police station to meet Ravi Rana and Navneet Rana. Let us see who stops me. Those who were protesting at Navneet Rana’s place today are not Shiv Sainiks, they are goons. The end of this government has come, people here will expose the scam.”

Mumbai Police on Saturday arrested Amravati Member of Parliament Navneet Rana and Member of Legislative Assembly Ravi Rana on Saturday.

The police officials took them to Khar Police Station.

“A case is registered at Khar Police against MLA Shri Ravi Rana and MP Smt Navneet Kaur Rana U/S 153(A), 34, IPC r/w 37(1) 135 Bombay police act. Both are taken into custody from their house at Khar. Further investigation is being done by Khar Police Station,” stated an official release by the police.

Earlier, Shiv Sena workers on Saturday protested outside the residence of Amravati MP Navneet Rana and MLA Ravi Rana who had announced their plan to chant “Hanuman Chalisa” outside Matoshree, the private residence of Chief Minster Uddhav Thackeray.

The announcement came after, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray had stoked controversy earlier by asking the state government to remove loudspeakers from mosques while warning that if the demand isn’t met, his party members will put loudspeakers to play “Hanuman Chalisa”. (ANI)

PM Modi will visit J-K on Sunday, Security on High Alert

Jammu (Jammu and Kashmir) [India]: Security arrangements have been strengthened ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Jammu and Kashmir’s Palli on Sunday.

The Prime Minister is scheduled to address panchayats across the country on ‘Panchayati Raj Diwas’ tomorrow.
Every year, April 24 is celebrated as the National Panchayati Raj Day.

The Prime minister will address a gathering including more than 30,000 Panchayati Raj Institution (PRI) members of Jammu and Kashmir while PRIs from across the country will be connected virtually for the Prime Minister’s address.

Palli panchayat is in the Samba district of Jammu and Kashmir.

Security arrangements have been tightened because of PM Modi’s Visit

The date – April 24, 1993 – marks a defining moment in the history of decentralization of power to the grassroots, with the institutionalization of Panchayati Raj, through the Constitution (73rd Amendment) Act, 1992 which came into force with effect from that day.

Panchayat Palli in Jammu has been selected for the Panchayati Raj Diwas function this year and an exhibition showcasing the latest innovations will be put up enabling farmers, sarpanchs and village heads to improve their income and their produce.

Amongst important innovations that are planned to be showcased, are geospatial technology for rural development and farmers, apps usable by farmers for weather forecast for five days, lavender cultivation famously known as purple revolution, biotechnology innovation to increase the production of apple on the same land to increase farmers’ income, drone application for pesticide spray and waste treatment, the shelf life of fruits to be increased through atomic radiation, etc. (ANI)

 

Delhi makes masks mandatory in public places, re-imposes fine

New Delhi [India]: Amid the surge in COVID-19 cases in the national capital, the Delhi government on Friday announced the re-imposition of a fine of Rs 500 on those found not wearing masks in public places with immediate effect.

However, the fine will not be applicable to persons travelling together in private four-wheeler vehicles.
The decision has been taken as the positivity rate of COVID-19 infection has been increasing in Delhi over the past fortnight.

The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) had in its meeting on Wednesday decided to make masks mandatory in public places.

“A fine of Rs 500 for not wearing of face mask/cover in all public places in Delhi will be imposed from immediate effect till further orders in compliance of Notification dated February 26, 2022. Further, the fine under this provision of the notification will not be applicable to persons travelling together in private four-wheeler vehicles,” the Health and Family Welfare Department’s order reads.

DDMA after examining all relevant facts related to the penal provisions for not adhering to COVID-19 protocols of wearing masks in public places decided to impose the fine with immediate effect.

This comes after the Delhi government on Friday released the Special Operating Procedure (SOPs) to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in schools.

According to the SoP issued by the Directorate of Education, the deployment of school staff, who would make sure no student or staff with COVID symptoms enter the school premises, has been made mandatory at the main gate. Thermal screening too has been made compulsory at the main gate.

Hand sanitization has also been made mandatory at school entrances, classrooms, labs and public places.

The SoP also suggests that parents should not send their children to school if any family member shows COVID symptoms, and the teachers should seek information about the family members of students and whether they have COVID symptoms while taking takes attendance.

Notably, 965 new COVID cases were reported in Delhi yesterday and a day before that the number was 1,009. The active cases in the city have crossed the 3,000 mark.

Nearly three weeks ago, when Delhi witnessed a dip in the daily infections, the DDMA had issued an order removing the fine for not wearing masks. However, it had advised people to continue using them in crowded places. (ANI)

After Delhi and Punjab, we will form government in Karnataka, says Arvind Kejriwal

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India]- Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Thursday promised a “corruption-free” government in Karnataka and expressed confidence that the people of the state will vote for the Aam Aadmi Party in next year’s assembly polls.

“Ours is an honest government, we made it in Delhi then in Punjab now we’ll form government in Karnataka. Even in Karnataka, there will be a corruption-free government,” Kejriwal said addressing a rally here.
The Delhi Chief Minister claimed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had given him certificate of ‘imandaar CM’.

“PM made the CBI raid my residence, officials entered my bedroom but they couldn’t find anything, eventually, PM gave me the certificate of ‘imandaar’ CM,” he said.

Kejriwal said a corruption-free government can offer several services for free to the people.

He talked about the AAP government’s work in education and healthcare and concessions to people in power, water and transportation. “This is because we are an honest government,” he said.

“Earlier hospitals and dispensaries were in a bad state in Delhi but now we have facilities that are equal to private hospitals. Government schools across the country are in a bad shape except in Delhi. Delhi’s government schools are better than private schools. The students got 99.7 per cent results. Government schools have got swimming pools and lifts, even private schools don’t have such facilities. What does the ‘aam aadmi’ want? They just need a good education”, he added.

The AAP leader said four lakh students came from private schools to government schools this year and “medical treatment for 2 crore people is free in Delhi”.

“Earlier, there were power cuts for eight hours, now people get electricity supply for 24 hours,” he said.

Farmer leader Kodihalli Chandrashekar joined AAP during the rally.

Kejriwal said that the recent communal clashes across the country had “pained” him.

“Recent incidents in Delhi have pained me. Riots are happening all over the country. Who is behind it? The people in the country want peace. If you want riots, vote for them. If you want schools and hospitals, vote for us.”

Referring to the demonstration outside CM’s residence, Kejriwal said, “Some miscreants tried to barge into my house but at that time neither me nor my wife or children were there at home, only my parents were at home. However, they were welcomed to one party. All goons go to ‘one’ party.” (ANI)

J-K: 3 soldiers, one civilian receive injuries in encounter in Baramulla

Baramulla (Jammu and Kashmir) [India], April 21 (ANI): Inspector General of Police (IGP) Kashmir, Vijay Kumar on Thursday informed that in the ongoing encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Baramulla district, three soldiers and one civilian have received minor injuries.

Kumar also revealed that the exact location of the encounter is Malwa.
“Exact location of the encounter is Malwa. In the initial exchange of fire, three soldiers and a civilian received minor injuries. Operation in progress. Further details shall follow,” Kumar said.

An encounter had broken out between security forces and terrorists in the early hours of Thursday.

Budgam Police and Army are involved in the operation, police said.

Budgam Police and Army are involved in the operation, police said.
“Encounter underway in Pariswani area of Baramulla. Budgam Police and Army on the job. Further details shall follow,” Jammu and Kashmir Police said.

Further details are awaited. (ANI)

 

Supreme Court halts demolition drive in Delhi’s violence-hit Jahangirpuri

New Delhi [India]: Supreme Court on Wednesday ordered to maintain a “status-quo” on the demolition drive conducted by North Delhi Municipal Corporation in Jahangirpuri in the national capital.

The court said it will hear tomorrow the petition challenging the special joint encroachment removal programme in Jahangirpuri of the civic bodies including the NDMC and the PWD.
A bench headed by Chief Justice N V Ramana hearing the submission of Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave ordered status quo in the present situation and said the petition would be listed before an appropriate bench.

The court’s order came even as bulldozers started razing structures in the area as per orders of the BJP-controlled North Delhi Municipal Corporation and amid heavy police presence. The “encroachment removal action programme” was scheduled to take place on Wednesday and Thursday after the area witnessed violence on April 16 during a religious procession

In the hearing senior Advocate Dave mentioned that “unconstitutional, unauthorised demolition” was taking place in Jahangirpuri where riots took place.

Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave also apprised the court that the demolition drive, which was scheduled to be carried out in the afternoon had begun in Jahangirpuri at 9 am today.

Meanwhile, senior Advocate Kapil Sibal mentioned the plea filed by Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind’s plea against employing bulldozers to raze houses of persons suspected to be involved in crimes.

Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind moved the Supreme Court against employing bulldozers to raze down the houses of persons suspected to be involved in criminal incidents such as violence.

Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind has urged the Supreme Court to issue appropriate direction to the Centre and state governments that no lasting precipitative action be taken against any accused in any criminal proceedings and issue directions that residential accommodation cannot be demolished as a punitive measure.

In its petition Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind said that there has recently been an increase in the incidents of demolition of residential and commercial properties by government administration in several states as a punitive measure towards persons purportedly involved in criminal incidents such as riots.

“In response to alleged acts of violence, the administration in several states has been employing bulldozers to raze down the houses of persons suspected to be involved in such acts/ incidents. A number of ministers and legislators, including the Chief Minister and the Home Minister of the state of Madhya Pradesh, have made statements advocating such acts and especially threatened the minority groups with the destruction of their homes and commercial properties in case of riots,” the petition read.

According to the petition, resorting to such measures/ actions is clearly against our constitutional ethos and the criminal justice system, as also in violation of the rights of accused persons.

“Such measures by the governments undermine the criminal justice system of our country, including the important role of the courts. The legal process, including the pre-trial and trial stage, is hindered by these acts of the state, therefore, immediate action is needed to prevent such incidents from repeating,” the petitioner said, urging the top court to step in to stop the situation from escalating any further and also prevent such acts from being repeated in other states as well. Therefore, Jamiat Ulama-I-Hind has sought directions that any commercial property

cannot be demolished as a punitive measure.

It also sought to issue directions to provide training to police personnel in handling communal riots and situations where populations become restive.

The petitioner also urged to issue directions that ministers, legislators and anybody unconnected with the criminal investigation should be restrained from apportioning criminal responsibility regarding criminal action publicly or through any official communication until a determination by a criminal court publicly or any official communication until a determination by a criminal court.

The North Delhi Municipal Corporation Wednesday had scheduled an “encroachment removal action programme”, wherein illegal construction in the Jahangirpuri area will be removed on Wednesday and Thursday (April 20-21). (ANI)

Olympic Gold Medalist Justin Gatlin named ‘Ambassador’ for World 10K Bengaluru-2022

Bengaluru (Karnataka)[India]: World 10K Bengaluru on Wednesday announced Justin Gatlin – the 2004 Olympic 100M champion and four-time World Athletics Championships gold medallist – as the International Event Ambassador for the 14th edition of the race on May 15.

The American sprinter had an illustrious career winning titles on the world stage across a period of 16 years from 2003 to 2019, before he officially hung up his spikes and retired on February 10 this year, his 40th birthday.
In addition to his 2004 Olympic 100m title and his world championships gold medals – which included the 100 M in 2005 and 2017, Gatlin also won the World Athletics Indoor Championships 60m in 2003 and 2021. In total, he won no less than 17 medals in the global athletics championships.

“The last two years have been challenging for all of us and made me realize the importance of being together; being part of something bigger. Sport has always been a great unifier and I am extremely excited to be a part of Tata Consultancy Services World 10K Bengaluru. This will be my first visit to India, and I look forward immensely to the new experience and witnessing each one of us #ComeAlive in our own unique way on the streets of Bengaluru. I urge everyone to be a part of this event and find what brings you joy. See you at the start line!” Gatlin said.

Vivek Singh, Joint Managing Director of Procam International, said they are delighted to have Justin Gatlin as the International Event Ambassador of the World 10K Bengaluru 2022.

The USD $210,000 World Athletics Elite Label Race will witness some of the world’s finest distance runners on the roads of Bengaluru as well as thousands of mass participation competitors from across India. (ANI)

 

Delhi Violence: Police inspects violence-hit Jahangirpuri

New Delhi [India]: Ahead of the anti-encroachment drive on Wednesday in Delhi’s violence-hit Jahangirpuri area, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), North West, Usha Rangnani along with other police personnel inspected the area.

Delhi Police personnel took stock of the situation in Jahangirpuri which witnessed violence on April 16 during a religious procession.

Bharatiya Janata Party-run North Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC) has scheduled an “encroachment removal action programme”, wherein illegal construction in the Jahangirpuri area will be removed on Wednesday and Thursday. NDMC has also asked for 400 personnel from the Delhi Police to “handle law and order” during the drive.

“They collect garbage or waste materials here. Now they are removing it as we got to know that bulldozer will come here,” said a person present at the violence-hit area.

Heavy police deployment continued in the Jahangirpuri area to maintain law and order in the city.

In a letter to the Northwest Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), the NDMC said, “The special joint encroachment removal action programme comprising Public Works Department (PWD), local body, Police and the Works/Maintenance Department, Health Department, Sanitation Department, Veterinary Department and Enforcement Cell of North DMC is to be fixed in Jahangiripuri area.”

“You are, therefore requested to provide at least 400 police personnel including lady police/outer force for maintaining law and order during the encroachment removal action,” the letter further read.

An altercation between two groups erupted during a religious procession in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri on April 16 that left nine people injured including eight police personnel and a civilian.

A total of 23 people have been arrested and two juveniles apprehended so far in connection with the incident.

On Tuesday, National Security Act (NSA) was imposed against five culprits involved in the clashes that erupted between members of two groups during a Hanuman Jayanti procession.

Meanwhile, in wake of the incident, the Delhi police is conducting drone surveillance to keep a vigil over the Central District.

Delhi Police on Tuesday said that the situation in Jahangirpuri was peaceful and talks are being held with the peace committee.

“The situation is peaceful. Talks were held with Aman Committee. The investigation is taking place in a fair manner,” Delhi Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Dependra Pathak said. (ANI)

 

Maharashtra proposes removal of 22 cyber accounts for propagating communal disharmony

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]:  In wake of the recent incidents of communal clashes across India, the Maharashtra cyber cell has proposed to block 22 accounts on different social media for propagating communal disharmony.

Of these 22 accounts, 20 are on Twitter, while Instagram and Facebook have one each.
In an exclusive interview with ANI, Maharashtra Cyber Cell Superintendent of Police (SP) Sanjay Shintre said on observing the current atmosphere (of the country), 48 police stations under the department are actively filtering out accounts that post objectionable and defamatory content.

“Maharashtra Cyber has sent a proposal to block 22 accounts. Many have been blocked too…In the wake of the atmosphere at present, we started looking for accounts propagating communal disharmony content…” he said.

Shintre informed that several accounts on different social media belong to fake organisations and individuals who are using morphed photos, lots of editing and deep fake technology to spread communal disharmony.

Walking ANI through the process of removing accounts, the SP said, “We start with serving notices to intermediaries about the possibility of communal disharmony through such accounts. These intermediaries include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and others. They act immediately by taking down such content and then deleting it.”

In the past two years, as per Shintre, the Maharashtra Cyber cell has identified about 12,000 objectionable posts defaming dignitaries, of which 6,000 were deleted by intermediaries.

“Although Maharashtra Cyber is active every day, in the last one month, considering the political developments, the cyber cell has been very proactive,” he added. (ANI)

Delhi Violence: National Security Act imposed against 5 culprits

New Delhi [India]: National Security Act (NSA) was on Tuesday imposed against five culprits involved in the clashes that took place in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri that erupted between members of two groups during a Hanuman Jayanti procession on April 16, top government officials said.

NSA has been imposed against Ansar, Salim, Imam Sheikh alias Sonu, Dilshad and Ahir for their involvement in the Jahangirpuri violence, officials said.
The action was taken a day after Union Home Minister Amit Shah directed Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana to take strict action over Jahangirpuri violence.

Shah had given his direction in a telephonic conversation with Asthana followed by a report presented before him by senior Delhi Police officials on the incident.

On Saturday, the Home Minister also talked to Asthana and Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Depender Pathak over the incident and asked them to maintain law and order.

The situation turned tense in the north-west Delhi’s Jahangirpuri soon after stone-pelting and chaos ensued following clashes between members of two communities during a Hanuman Jayanti procession in the evening.

The FIR, registered on the complaint filed by a police officer at the Jahangirpuri police station, mentions that there was a peaceful Shobha Yatra procession to mark Hanuman Jayanti and an argument escalated. It led to stone-pelting.

Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana on Monday informed in a press briefing that 14 teams of police are investigating the Jahangirpuri violence case.

So far, 21 people have been arrested and two juveniles detained in connection with the incident that left nine people injured including eight police personnel and one civilian.

The Delhi Police Commissioner said that a close watch was being maintained on the social media platforms and assured legal action against those attempting to spread misinformation.

“Four teams of forensics examined the spot today. 14 teams of police are investigating the case from different angles. The investigation is in the initial phase. A total of 21 people were arrested and some others are on remand,” Asthana told ANI on Monday.

A total of 14 accused in the case were produced before the Rohini court on Sunday, which sent two prime accused – Ansar and Aslam – to police custody for a day. The remaining 12 were sent to judicial custody for 14 days.

“We are monitoring social media closely, and legal action will be taken against those who are found spreading misinformation,” Asthana said when asked about reports that flags were installed at a mosque. Three firearms and five swords have been recovered from the possession of the accused persons, said police.

“As of now, three firearms recovered. A forensic examination will be done on the recovery. Restrictions in the Jahangirpuri area were imposed to create a sense of safety. The police deployment will be decreased after the situation gets better,” the Delhi CP said.

On the violent clashes, the Delhi top cop said, “An altercation between the two groups erupted, now what was the altercation and why it happened, saying anything on this before concluding the investigation will not be right.”

On Monday, Ravindra Yadav, Special Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch informed that the Delhi Police Crime Branch and the district police are jointly probing the incident. (ANI)

Jhunjhunu road mishap: PM Modi announces ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh to victim’s family

New Delhi [India]: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday expressed sorrow over the deaths of those killed in a road accident in Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu and announced ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased.

As many as 11 people were killed and several others were injured in a rod accident as a pickup vehicle collided with a truck in Jhunjhunu district of Rajasthan on Tuesday, said police.
The Prime Minister announced ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh each to the next of kin of the deceased from the Prime Minister National Relief Fund (PMNRF) and Rs 50,000 to the injured.

”Anguished by the tragic accident in Jhunjhunu. Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon. Rs 2 lakh each from PMNRF would be given to the next of kin of the deceased. The injured would be given Rs 50,000,” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a tweet.

The accident occurred in the afternoon on the Jhunjhunu-Gudha Godji highway.

About 20 people were on their way home in a pickup vehicle when the incident occurred.

“Eight people died on the spot, others three died in hospital. A total of 11 people have died so far. The injured are admitted to the hospital and treatment is going on,” said Shankar Lal Chhaba, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP).

“20-22 people were travelling to their homes in a pickup vehicle when the incident happened,” said Shankarlal Chabba, Sub-Inspector.

Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has expressed grief over the incident. “My deepest condolences to the bereaved family. May God give them strength to bear this loss and may the souls of the departed rest in peace. Wishing a speedy recovery to those injured in the accident,” he said in a tweet in Hindi. (ANI)

Naxals torch vehicles engaged in sand mining in Chhattisgarh

Bijapur (Chhattisgarh) [India]: Naxals torched seven vehicles engaged in sand mining near the Mingachal river in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur on Monday.

4 Hyva trucks, two JCBs were amongst the seven vehicles allegedly set ablaze by the Naxals.
“There was sand mining going on in the Minagachal river, where six to seven vehicles were set on fire by several Naxals.4 Hyva trucks, two JCBs were amongst the seven vehicles engaged in sand mining activities allegedly set ablaze by the Naxal,” said P Sundarraj, IG Bastar.

Further investigation into the matter is underway. (ANI)

Sophisticated pistol recovered from accused arrested for firing gunshots in Jahangirpuri

New Delhi [India]: Delhi Police on Monday recovered a sophisticated pistol from the 28-year-old man arrested for allegedly opening fire during the Jahangirpuri violence on April 16.

A case has been registered against the accused, Sonu alias Imam alias Yunus, under section 25 of the Arms Act.
“One sophisticated pistol was recovered from Sonu alias Imam alias Yunus’s possession in connection with Jahangirpuri violence case. A case under section 25 Arms Act has been registered,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) North-West, Usha Rangnani informed.

As per the DCP, the accused has disclosed that he had fired from his pistol near Kushal Chowk during the incident.

A video that the police said is circulating on social media, showed Sonu in a blue kurta opening fire during the incident.

Earlier in the day, a team of police personnel had gone to Sonu’s house for search and examination.

“A video was being circulated on April 17 on social media showing a man (in blue kurta) opening fire during the violence in Jahangirpuri area on April 16. A police team had gone to his house in CD Park road in his search and for examination of his family members,” said Rangnani.

A total of 23 people have been arrested and two juveniles apprehended so far in connection with the incident in which nine people, including eight police personnel and a civilian, were injured.

Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana, while addressing a press conference on Monday, assured that action will be taken against those found guilty irrespective of their class, creed, community and religion.

Two prime accused – Ansar and Aslam – were sent to police custody till Wednesday by a Delhi Court today. Four other fresh accused of the incident were sent to judicial custody for 14 days.

A day ago, during submission before the court, Delhi Police alleged that the main accused – Ansar and Aslam – got to know about the ‘Shobha Yatra’ on April 15 and then they hatched this “conspiracy”.

Delhi Police also said, “We have to go through the CCTV footage, and identify others involved in this case.”

A total of 14 accused in the case were produced before the Rohini court on Sunday. Of these, two were Ansar and Aslam while the remaining 12 accused, produced before the court, were sent to judicial custody for 14 days.

Earlier, an altercation between two groups erupted during a religious procession in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri on April 16 that left nine people injured including eight police personnel and a civilian. (ANI)

 

African Swine Fever breaks out in Tripura, govt orders mass execution of pigs

Agartala (Tripura) [India]: After Mizoram, cases of African Swine Fever (ASF) have been detected in Tripura’s Animal Resources Development Department (ARDD)-run government breeding farm located at Devipur under Sepahijala district, top sources in the department told ANI requesting anonymity.

A team of experts from Agartala’s disease investigation Centre reached the farm and formed rapid response teams to handle the situation.
“On April 7, three samples were sent to North Eastern Regional Disease Diagnostic Laboratory for testing. On April 13, last we received the PCR report that confirmed that all the samples were positive. Even the symptoms of the pigs now sheltered on the farm also indicate that the contagious disease has already entered the farm. Another report that was supposed to come from Bhopal’s National Disease Diagnostic institute is yet to reach Tripura,” a senior official in the Animal Husbandry Department run disease investigation laboratory said.

Primarily, the source said, the farmworkers have been advised to deal with the disease.

“We have formed two task forces comprising ten people in each of the groups. The teams will be led by a veterinary officer and they will directly report to the panel of nodal officers. In charge of ARDD’s Disease Investigation laboratory Dr Mrinal Dutta and SDM Bishalgarh have been included in the team of nodal officers,” the source added.

In the first phase, 8 feet by 8 feet graves had been dug up to bury the infected pigs after mass execution. Besides, all the pigs are being reared in a private capacity.

“Initially pigs available within the one-kilometre radius of the farm will be executed and buried to contain the spread of the disease. We are trying to confine the disease within the farm and its peripheries so that the virus does not spread across the state,” said the sources.

On being asked about official confirmation, sources said, according to the process, the laboratory authorities will write a letter to the Government of India and the Centre will communicate the matter to the Chief Secretary.

“All the further proceedings can only be carried out once the official letter reaches the state government,” he added.

According to officials, a total of 63 mature pigs died due to unknown reasons which raised an alarm. Before the outbreak, there were 265 mature pigs and 185 piglets in the pig shed of the farm. (ANI)

Amit Shah asks Delhi Police Commissioner to ensure strict action in Jahangirpuri violence

New Delhi [India]:  Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday asked Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana to take strict action over Jahangirpuri violence in which police have formed teams for a thorough probe.

Amit Shah spoke with Asthana after a report was presented to him by senior Delhi Police officials on the April 16 incident in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri area.
This is the second telephonic conversation between Shah and Asthana since the incident. The Home Minister had on Saturday spoken with Asthana and Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Depender Pathak on the incident and asked them to maintain law and order.

Shah also took stock of the situation soon after stone-pelting between members of two communities during a religious procession.

The FIR, registered on the complaint filed by a police official at the Jahangirpuri police station, states that there was a “peaceful” Shobha Yatra procession to mark Hanuman Jayanti and there was stone-pelting following an arguement.

Asthana had said earlier in the day that 14 police teams are investigating the Jahangirpuri violence case.

So far, 22 people have been arrested and two juveniles detained in connection with the incident that left nine people injured including eight police personnel and one civilian.

The Delhi Police Commissioner said that a close watch was being maintained on the social media platforms and assured legal action against those attempting to spread misinformation.

“Four teams of forensics examined the spot today. 14 teams of police are investigating the case from different angles. The investigation is in the initial phase. A total of 21 people were arrested and some others are on remand,” Asthana also told ANI.

Two prime accused – Ansar and Aslam – were sent to police custody till Wednesday by a Delhi court. Four other fresh accused of the incident have been sent to judicial custody for 14 days.

“We are monitoring social media closely, and legal action will be taken against those who are found spreading misinformation,” Asthana said when asked about reports that flags were installed at a mosque.

Three firearms and five swords have been recovered from the possession of the accused persons, said police.

“As of now, three firearms recovered. A forensic examination will be done on the recovery. Restrictions in the Jahangirpuri area were imposed to create a sense of safety. The police deployment will be decreased after the situation gets better,” the Delhi CP said.

On the violent clashes, the Delhi top cop said, “An altercation between the two groups erupted, now what was the altercation and why it happened, saying anything on this before concluding the investigation will not be right.”

Earlier Ravindra Yadav, Special Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch informed that the Delhi Police Crime Branch and the district police are jointly probing the incident. (ANI)

SC cancels Ashish Mishra’s bail in Lakhimpur Kheri case, directs him to surrender

New Delhi [India]: The Supreme Court on Monday cancelled the bail granted to the son of Union Minister Ajay Mishra Teni, Ashish Mishra, an accused in the Lakhimpur Kheri violence case and directed him to surrender within a week.

A bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana set aside the Allahabad High Court which granted bail to Ashish Mishra.
The top court held that the Allahabad High Court order is not sustainable. The top court also observed that victims were not heard while considering the bail plea of Ashish Mishra in Allahabad High Court.

The Supreme Court remanded the matter back to the Allahabad High Court to hear the issue afresh.

Earlier, on April 4, a bench headed by Chief Justice NV Ramana had reserved the order after hearing all the parties.

Senior Advocate Mahesh Jethmalani appearing for the Uttar Pradesh government had said that it is a grave offence but accused Ashish Mishra is not a flight risk.

He further submitted that it is a serious case as five people have died. “It is a matter of trial,” he said.

The apex court was hearing a plea seeking the cancellation of bail of Ashish Mishra, who is the son of Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra Teni, granted by the Allahabad High Court on February 10.

The SC-appointed committee has recommended preferring the appeal to cancel the bail of Ashish Mishra.

During the hearing, Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for petitioners, had urged the Supreme Court should set aside the order of the Allahabad High Court granting bail to Mishra. Senior Advocate Ranjit Kumar, appearing for Ashish Mishra, justified the Allahabad High Court order.

Senior Advocate Jethmalani had submitted that all witnesses are under police protection and there is no possibility of witness tampering.

He had also apprised the Court that the state has vehemently opposed the bail plea of Ashish Mishra in Allahabad High Court.

Senior Advocate Dushyant Dave, appearing for petitioners, had submitted that the order of Allahabad HC suffered from complete non-application of mind.

Earlier, in an affidavit, the Uttar Pradesh government told the Supreme Court that the state has taken all efforts to protect the witnesses and families of victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri incident.

The state government had told the Supreme Court that all the witnesses are regularly contacted by the police for appraisal of their security conditions.

The submission of Uttar Pradesh came in an affidavit, replying to the petition seeking to cancel bail to Ashish Mishra.

Uttar Pradesh government told the Supreme Court it had opposed the bail plea of Ashish Mishra in the Allahabad High Court and the submission of the petition that the State did not effectively oppose the bail application of the accused Ashish Mishra is completely untrue.

In the earlier hearing advocate Prashant Bhushan, appearing for the petitioner, said that one of the prime protected witnesses was brutally attacked, a few days after bail was granted to Ashish Mishra.

Family members of the victims of the Lakhimpur Kheri incident moved the Supreme Court challenging the Allahabad High Court order, which granted bail to Ashish Mishra.

In the Special Leave Petition, family members of the deceased challenged the Allahabad High Court order dated February 10, 2022, wherein Ashish Mishra was granted regular bail. The petitioner said that the Allahabad HC order is unsustainable in law. They also said that they have approached the Apex Court as the State of Uttar Pradesh has failed to prefer any appeal against the impugned order.

Ashish Mishra was released from jail in February followed by Allahabad High Court granting him bail. Eight people, including four farmers, died in violence on October 3, 2020, in Lakhimpur Kheri.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had appointed a committee headed by retired Punjab and Haryana high court judge Rakesh Kumar Jain to monitor the probe into the Lakhimpur Kheri violence. (ANI)

Fuel price hike in Delhi : Auto, cab drivers on two-day strike from today

New Delhi [India]: To protest against the soaring fuel prices, members of auto, taxi and cab drivers’ associations in Delhi have decided to go on a strike from Monday for two days.

Several unions of auto and cab drivers are demanding that the fare rates be hiked and fuel prices be reduced. The strike has not been called off despite assurance from the Delhi government to resolve their issues. The Delhi government had announced forming a committee to look into fare revision in a time-bound manner.
Auto and Taxi Association of Delhi, a unit of the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, has announced a strike in Delhi on April 18 and 19. They claim that a large number of autos and cabs will not hit the streets of Delhi on these two days.

General Secretary of Delhi Auto Rickshaw Sangh, Rajendra Soni in a telephonic conversation with ANI alleged that the Central and the Delhi government is not paying heed to their demands.

He said that they wrote a letter to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on March 30 highlighting their demands which include subsidy on CNG prices. “We did not receive a response from the government. We staged a protest for two days and are now compelled to go on strike,” he said.

Listing demands of the auto and cab unions, Soni said, “We do not want the fare to increase, because it will affect the pockets of the common people as well. Our only demand is that the government does not increase the fuel price and give us subsidy on CNG prices. We demand that the government provide Rs 35 per kg subsidy on CNG prices.”

Soni assured that the protest would be peaceful; however, he warned that some elements – in favour of the government – might attempt to disrupt the protest.

However, many more unions associated with auto and taxis are not joining this strike. Delhi State President of Capital Driver Welfare Association, Chandu Chaurasia told ANI that Gramin Seva and e-rickshaw will not take part in the strike on April 18 and 19.

“As usual, we will continue to serve the people of Delhi,” he said. However, Chaurasia also supported the demand for subsidy on CNG and said that we should definitely get relief.

President of the Sarvodaya Drivers’ Association of Delhi, Kamaljeet Gill said that Ola and Uber cab drivers will go on a strike on from April 18. “Ola and Uber fares have not been increased since 2015 and we have protested against this many times but the government did not pay heed. In these seven years, the prices of CNG and petrol started soaring high,” he said.

Singh also said that the protest will not stop until a solution to the problem is found. “We have support from Lucknow, Hyderabad, Kolkata and Mumbai. Strikes will also start there tomorrow,” he added.

The price of CNG is currently Rs 71.61 per kg in Delhi. (ANI)

 

Karnataka CM Bommai sounds poll bugle for 2023 elections

Vijayanagar (Karnataka) [India]: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai sounded the poll bugle for the 2023 Assembly elections on Sunday and said that the party will seek a positive mandate from farmers, women and weaker sections for the good governance provided by the state government.

Addressing the convention Bommai called Vijayanagar a holy land and said the BJP has declared a democratic war based on the principles of justice and positive democratic values.
“Let us march ahead under the able leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his welfare programmes. Let us march together, victory will be ours,” he said.

“We will seek a positive mandate from farmers, women and weaker sections for our good governance, enforcing law and order, maintaining unity and integrity of the State and nation. We will go to the people with our performance report card and win the hearts of the people. Let us make Lotus bloom in the hearts of the people and the third floor of V2023 polls.,” Bommai added.

Terming Modi’s leadership as a great strength for the party, Bommai said, the entire world has accepted him as a great leader and we are marching ahead under his leadership to script a glorious future for the State and the country.

Launching a scathing attack on Congress, Bommai said that the grand old party had no moral right to talk about Corruption.

“The earlier Congress government at the Centre had attained notoriety by perpetrating 2G, 3G, Defence and Coal scams. The Congress government compromised with even the security of the country by indulging in scams in defence purchases too,” Bommai said while adding that Congress worried only about power and vote bank.

The Chief Minister in an attack on Congress said that the party is worried only about power and vote bank politics causing communal tension in the state.

“They had lost control of the administration when in power encouraging the anti-national elements. They remained mute spectators when rioters attacked DJ Halli police station and burnt down the residence of their own party MLA,” he said.

“They do not want peace and harmony in society. Their vote bank politics has further emboldened the disruptive elements, Bommai said and questioned the silence of Congress leaders about the attack on the police station in Hubballi and their stand on the Hijab issue,” he added.

Assembly Elections in the state will be held in 2023. (ANI)

Assam: 20 killed due to storms, lightning strikes

Dispur (Assam) [India]: As least 20 people lost their lives in several incidents of severe storms and lightning strikes throughout Assam since late March.

As per the data shared by Chief Executive Officer of Assam State Disaster Management Authority GD Tripathi, in the last three days (i.e. from April 14, 2022) 22 districts have reported storm and lightning incidents in 80 Revenue Circles spanning over 1,410 villages impacting 95,239 people.
“Total of 20 deaths have been reported during this season due to storms and lightning, of which 19 deaths were reported in April (till April 17) and one in the last week of March.

Notably, an ex-gratia payment to the next of kin of deceased persons has been initiated and it will be completed soon.

Reportedly, 3,011 houses are fully damaged (Katcha= 2,974; Pacca=37) and 19,256 houses (Katcha=17,713; Pacca=1,543) have been partially damaged till April 16.

A further detailed assessment is underway on in many storm-affected Revenue Circles.

So far, a total of 1,333 hectares of crop area damage has also been reported from the districts.

Circle level task forces constituted by the Government for damage assessment have started a detailed damage assessment process and verification for speedy disbursement of financial assistance.

Further, under the Scheme for Training of Community Volunteers in Disaster Response (Aapda Mitra) community volunteers have been deputed for the distribution of tarpaulin and gratuitous relief items in order to help local circle level administration.

Teams of the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and fire and ES were also deputed for clearance of Road communication and storm debris in the affected localities with close support from the forest department.

Power has been delegated to all Deputy Commissioners by the Government for speedy sanction and disbursement of Rehabilitation grants etc. to the affected populations and beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT), without referring to the government for approval.

Tripathi held a virtual review meeting with the Deputy Commissioners on Sunday. (ANI)

 

Communal Conspiracy In Delhi : 20 arrested, 2 juveniles apprehended

New Delhi [India]:  A total of 20 people have been arrested and two juveniles apprehended in connection with clashes that broke out in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri area on Saturday, said police.

Three firearms and five swords have been recovered from the possession of the accused persons, said Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) North-West, Usha Rangnani.
“An FIR has been registered under sections 147, 148, 149, 186, 353, 332, 323, 427, 436, 307, 120B of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and 27 Arms Act dated April 16, following 20 accused persons have been arrested and 2 Juveniles in conflict with the law have been apprehended,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Delhi Police Crime Branch and the district police are jointly probing the incident, said Ravindra Yadav, Special Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch.

Earlier, an altercation had broken out between two communities in the Jahangirpuri area of the national capital on Saturday evening during a religious procession, in which nine people, including eight police personnel and one civilian, were injured.

Of the 20 accused persons in the case, 14 were produced before the Rohini court on Sunday, which sent two prime accused – Ansar and Aslam – to police custody for one day. The remaining 12 were sent to judicial custody for 14 days, informed Advocate Vikas Verma.

In Rohini court, Delhi Police alleged that the main accused – Ansar and Aslam – got to know about the ‘Shobha Yatra’ on April 15 and then they built up this conspiracy. Delhi Police also said, “We have to go through the CCTV footage and identify others involved in this case.”

In order to ensure peace and harmony in the national capital, the police today held a meeting with members of Aman (peace) committees in north-west Delhi. The meeting was organised by the Deputy Commissioner of Police North West at Kushal Chowk in the Jahangirpuri area with the members of the Aman committee of PS Jahangirpuri, PS Mahendra Park and PS Adarsh Nagar.

Another such meeting was also held in Chandini Chowk. Corner meetings were also held in communally sensitive areas.

Heavy security has been deployed in the violence-hit area to prevent any untoward incident.

According to the police, flag marches were taken out to eliminate anti-social elements in the area, while WhatsApp groups have been formed to eliminate any kind of rumour-mongering. Reserve staff of police arranged to cater to any contingency. (ANI)

Delhi: Heavy security in violence-hit Jahangirpuri, 20 arrested

New Delhi [India]: Heavy security has been deployed in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri area after the incident of violence and stone-pelting erupted following a clash between two groups during Shobha Yatra on Saturday.

Meanwhile, the Noida Police is on alert and a flag march was conducted to create an atmosphere of faith and security among the public.
“After Delhi’s sensitive incident, a flag march is being conducted by police with the goal to create an atmosphere of faith and security for the public. I appeal to the public to maintain peace and not pay heed to rumours,” said Love Kumar, Joint Police Commissioner (Law and Order).

Clashes broke out between two groups after stone-pelting incidents were reported from the Jahangirpuri area in the national capital on Saturday evening during a procession on Saturday. Some people, including two policemen, have been injured. Delhi police have deployed heavy security in the area.

Delhi Police has registered a case and started the investigation of the incident.

“Case registered and investigation started… the police team present on the spot immediately contained the situation in the clash during Shobha Yatra in Jahangirpuri and maintained peace and order. A few policemen got injured in the process,” said Special Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) Depender Pathak.

Pathak said that the situation is under total control and the atmosphere is peaceful.

“Situation is under total control; the atmosphere is peaceful. We are in continuous touch with people and are appealing to maintain peace and not pay heed to rumours. An adequate number of police officials are here for protection,” he added.

Meanwhile, heavy security forces were deployed in the Jahangirpuri area to maintain a law and order situation. Kejriwal has also condemned the violence and appealed for maintaining peace.

“I appeal to everyone to maintain peace as the country cannot progress without it. Central govt has the responsibility to maintain peace in the national capital; appeal to people to maintain peace,” the Chief Minister said.

Moreover, Union Home Minister Amit Shah also spoke with Delhi Police Commissioner Rakesh Asthana and Depender Pathak over Jahangirpuri violence and asked them to maintain law and order, said official sources.

Shah, in a telephonic conversation with both the officers, also took stock of the situation after stone-pelting in Delhi’s Jahangirpuri following clashes between members of two communities during a Hanuman Jayanti procession this evening.

Officials said that Shah also directed the officers to take strict action against the miscreants.

BJP MP from North-West Delhi Hans Raj Hans in the wee hours of Sunday visited the violence-hit Jahangirpuri area. (ANI)

 

Congress slams KCR on paddy procurement, Rahul Gandhi’s ‘Kisan Sangarsh Sabha’ on May 6

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Telangana (Hyderabad) [India], April 17 (ANI): Hitting out at Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao over the paddy procurement row, former Congress MP Madhu Yashki on Saturday said that party leader Rahul Gandhi’s “Kisan Sangarsh Sabha” in Warangal will expose “nexus” between Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

“Rahul Gandhi’s trip has been finalised. On May 6, he is visiting Warangal, we are going to have a Raithu Sagarshana Sabha. The farmers have been looted by CM K Chandrashekar Rao, he made false promises of Rs 1 lakh loan waiver and paddy procurement. He asked the farmer not to sow paddy during this season. After two months of protest now, he decided to procure paddy. BJP and TRS looting the Telangana farmers,” Yashki said.
Gandhi’s public rally is going to attend will expose the “TRS-BJP nexus” and particularly the “loot” by the Kalvakuntla family in Telangana, he added.

The Congress leader said that the party will highlight unemployment, corruption, and the education issues which CM never discussed.

Rahul Gandhi will be visiting Telangana on May 6 and 7 to participate in a ‘Kisan Sangarsh Sabha’ in Warangal. (ANI)

 

Contractor Suicide: Karnataka Minister Eshwarappa resigns

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India]: Karnataka Rural Development Minister KS Eshwarappa on Friday tendered his resignation from Ministership to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai amid the row over the alleged suicide of contractor Santosh Patil.

State Ministers Bairati Basavaraj, MTB Nagaraj, Araga Jnanendra and MLA Ramesh Jharkiholi were also present at the Chief Minister’s residence while Eshwarappa tendered his resignation. Notably, Eshwarappa represents the Shivamogga Assembly seat.
Before leaving for Bengaluru, Eshwarappa said the reason for his resignation is to set a benchmark for the workers of the Bharatiya Janata Party, who “should feel that they will not get power until they come out clean and innocent”.

“All the workers, MLAs, and leaders across the state are calling and supporting me. They expressed confidence that no BJP worker can commit such a mistake,” Eshwarappa said while adding that he is sure of coming out clean in the “Agni Pariksha”.

Earlier today, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) General Secretary Dushyant Gautam said the minister needs to step down only if he is guilty in the contractor death case.

Bommai, on Friday, confirmed that Eshwarappa will tender his resignation from his ministerial post today.

Deceased contractor Santosh Patil had accused the Minister Eshwarappa of corruption. He was found dead in a lodge in Udupi on Tuesday. (ANI)

44 children test COVID-positive in Noida in past 7 days

Noida (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: A total of 44 children tested COVID-positive in the past seven days in Uttar Pradesh’s Noida, the health department said on Friday.

The number of active cases has crossed the 150-mark in Noida, Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Dr Sunil Kumar Sharma said.
“As many as 44 children tested COVID positive in the last seven days, of which 16 children are below 18 years. There are 167 active COVID cases in Noida. Percentage of children affected 26.3 per cent,” CMO said.

Meanwhile, India reported 949 new COVID cases in the last 24 hours, informed the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare on Friday.

The active cases in the country stand at 11,191 which is 0.03 per cent of the total cases. (ANI)

 

Devotees throng Meenakshi Temple on ‘annual chariot festival’ in Madurai

Madurai (Tamil Nadu) [India]: After the COVID-19 pandemic-inducted restriction eased, the annual chariot festival has once again pulled up a huge crowd in the Madurai Meenakshi Amman Temple this year.

A large number of devotees are participating in the annual chariot festival in Madurai today. People thronged with glory outside Meenakshi Amman Temple.
The festival which is celebrated during the Tamil month of Chithirai had been muted for the past two years due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Annual ‘Chithirai’ festival commenced on Tuesday last week with its traditional temple flag hoisting at Meenakshi Amman Temple.

Chithirai Festival, also known as Chithirai Thiruvizha, Meenakshi Kalyanam or Meenakshi Thirukalyanam is the celestial wedding of Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswarar.

The celestial Wedding or Thirukalyanam is scheduled to take place on April 14, informed the temple authority. The car festival will be held on April 15 and the Kallazhagar festival would be on April 16.

The festival lasts for one month. The first 15 days mark the celebrations of the coronation of Meenakshi as the divine ruler of Madurai and her marriage to Sundareshwar. (ANI)

 

UP: CM Yogi transfers 14 IPS officers in major administrative reshuffle

Moradabad (Uttar Pradesh) [India]: In a major administrative reshuffle, the Uttar Pradesh government on Friday transferred 14 IPS officers in the state.

Moradabad SSP Bablu Kumar and Amroha SP Poonam were removed and were kept on the waiting list.
IPS Vikas Vaidya will replace Hathras Superintendent of Police Vineet Jaiswal who has been sent to Amroha.

Rampur Superintendent of Police Ankit Mittal was posted as the general of 8th Corps PAC Bareilly and Balrampur Superintendent of Police Hemant Kutiyal has been made SSP of Moradabad.

Ashok Kumar IV who is connected to DGP Headquarters, was made the new Superintendent of Police of Rampur, Sant Kabirnagar Superintendent of Police Kaustubh has been made the new Superintendent of Police of Maharajganj.

Gorakhpur’s Additional Superintendent of Police, Nagar Sonam Kumar has been made the new Superintendent of Police, Sant Kabir Nagar. Dhaval Jaiswal has been made the SP of Kushinagar.

Maharajganj’s Superintendent of Police Pradeep Gupta was made the commander of 37th Corps PAC Kanpur Nagar.

The Superintendent of Police, Kushinagar, Sachindra Patel has been put in waiting like SSP Bablu Kumar and Amroha SP Poonam. (ANI)

 

Contractor’s Death: Karnataka Minister K S Eashwarappa to step down

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India]: Karnataka Minister KS Eshwarappa, who is caught in a row following his alleged role in the suicide of a contractor on Thursday said that he will hand over his resignation to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai tomorrow.

“Tomorrow, I’m handing over the resignation letter to CM. I thank you all for your co-operation,” the Minister told reporters here.
Eshwarappa said that he does not want to embarrass anybody including the high command leaders of the party.

The minister’s announcement came after chief minister Bommai said that Eshwarappa will continue in his cabinet and that an inquiry has been instituted after which a decision will be taken.

Speaking to ANI, Bommai said, “The postmortem was done yesterday and now preliminary inquiry (report) will come and based on that we’ll proceed.”

Notably, following the allegations, Congress and other political parties had demanded the removal of the Karnataka Rural Development and Panchayat Raj Minister.

Congress leader Mallikarjun Kharge, said, “He (contractor Satish Patil) has accused top ministers of demanding money. He wrote all this, the Congress party is not blaming them. They have already been accused several times. If they are not taking any action, it is not fair.”

Communist Party of India (CPI) MP Binoy Viswam had also written to Bommai demanding the removal of Eshwarappa from the state cabinet.

Earlier, Eshwarappa had said he would not resign under pressure from the opposition and added that “no death note was found near the body”.

“I have not seen the face of Santosh Patil, but as journalists are saying that he used to go to Delhi often. It should be investigated who booked his flight tickets and why,” he had said.

The brother of the deceased contractor on Wednesday demanded the arrest of Eshwarappa “and his close aides Ramesh and Basawaraj”. (ANI)

 

K’taka Contractors’ Association demands meeting with CM over corruption

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India]: Karnataka Contractors’ Association president D Kempanna on Wednesday issued an ultimatum to the state government in the wake of contractor Santosh Patil’s death and said that they will announce the names of the corrupt MLAs and Ministers if the contractors are not called to discuss the matter to reduce corruption within 15 days.

Speaking to ANI, Kempanna said, “We have given an ultimatum to Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai that if within 15 days we are not called to discuss the matter to reduce corruption, we will announce the names of involved MLAs and Ministers. Health is the most corrupt department, other corrupt departments include PWD, Irrigation, Panchayat Raj, BBMP.”
The Association president further informed that they would stop the work for a month, however, the date of which has not been decided yet.

“A big rally will be held on May 25 in Bengaluru. Moreover, we will stop our work for a month. The date is yet to be decided,” he said.

Karnataka Minister KS Eshwarappa on Wednesday ruled out resigning from the cabinet amid the opposition’s demand for his resignation and arrest over a case related to the death of the contractor.

Meanwhile, the brother of the deceased contractor Santosh Patil has demanded the arrest of Karnataka Minister KS Eshwarappa and his close aides Ramesh and Basawaraj.

Meanwhile, the Karnataka Congress delegation led by state party chief DK Shivakumar, and former chief minister Siddaramaiah met Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot demanding the expulsion of Eshwarappa from the state cabinet as well as his arrest over Patil’s death. (ANI)

 

Andhra CM announces ex-gratia of 25 lakhs for kin of pharma unit fire victims

Amaravati/Vijayawada (Andhra Pradesh) [India]: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy on Thursday condoled the death of six people and announced Rs 25 lakh compensation for the family members of the victims of the gas leak-triggered explosion at a chemicals manufacturing unit at Akkireddygudem.

Thirteen people were also injured in the fire accident.
The chief minister also declared Rs 5 lakh compensation for each of those critically injured and Rs 2 lakh for those who sustained minor injuries.

Officials have been instructed to monitor the condition of those injured and the SP along with the district collector have been directed to conduct a thorough investigation into the reason for the incident.

Meanwhile, Andhra Pradesh Governor Biswabhusan Harichandan also expressed anguish over the accident.

The district officials informed the Governor that the fire broke out in the chemical factory on Wednesday night and the injured have been shifted to a hospital in Vijayawada for better treatment.

The Governor also expressed his condolences to the bereaved family members and wished for the speedy recovery of those injured in the accident. (ANI)

 

Contractor death : Karnataka CM Bommai assures justice, Minister Eswarappa in trouble

Mangaluru (Karnataka) [India]: Amid the Opposition’s demands for Minister KS Eswarappa’s resignation in connection with contractor Santosh Patil’s death, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Wednesday said that the Opposition is trying to “find fault in the incident” while assuring that the investigation will be done as per the law and without the state’s intervention.

“Investigation into the Santosh Patil suicide case would be conducted in accordance with the law and there would be absolutely no interference from the state”, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai said on Wednesday.
Speaking to reporters in Mangaluru, Bommai said, “Opposition leaders are trying to find faults in the case. The investigation will bring out the truth as to who has played what role and what is the background. The truth will come out. The party top brass is aware of the issue.”

The Karnataka Chief Minister said that he will speak to Minister KS Eswarappa in connection with contractor Santosh Patil’s death, to know about the latter’s stand on his resignation over the matter. “The FIR has been registered in the Santosh Patil suicide case. Details have been obtained. I will speak to minister KS Eshwarappa over the phone and also talk to him personally,” said Bommai.

When the Chief Minister’s attention was drawn to Eshwarappa’s statement that he is ready to resign if the CM instructs, Bommai said,” I do not know what he has said. Things will be clear if I speak to him directly. We will decide after discussing a few issues.”

Patil who was a BJP leader and a contractor and had accused the Minister Eshwarappa of corruption was found dead in a lodge in Udupi on Tuesday.

A Karnataka Congress delegation led by state party chief DK Shivakumar, and former chief minister Siddaramaiah on Wednesday met Governor Thawar Chand Gehlot demanding the dismissal and arrest of state Minister KS Eshwarappa over contractor Santosh Patil’s mysterious death.

Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday said that he has directed the police to ensure a speedy and transparent investigation into the matter.

“I have instructed the police officers to ensure a systematic, speedy, honest, and transparent investigation with assistance from the Forensic Lab,” Bommai added. (ANI)

Tamil Nadu: Ambedkar Jayanti to be celebrated as ‘Day of Equality’, says Stalin

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India]- Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, on Wednesday, announced in the State Assembly that the birth anniversary of Dr B.R. Ambedkar will be celebrated as the ‘Day of Equality’ in the state.

“Baba Saheb Ambedkar’s birthday on April 14 will be celebrated as the Day of Equality, for which the oath will be taken across the Tamil Nadu,” said Stalin.
He also announced that a full-sized bronze statue of Ambedkar will be erected in the Ambedkar memorial in Chennai and certain selected books about Ambedkar will be published after being translated into Tamil.

All the party representatives welcomed the state government’s decision to celebrate Ambedkar Jayanti as the ‘Day of Equality’.

“The Central government has taken many initiatives to bring Ambedkar to the people; we welcome the state government’s idea,” BJP MLA Vanathi Srinivasan told the state assembly.

The All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) coordinator and MLA O Paneer Selvam also expressed acceptance of the government’s announcement.

Born on 14 April 1891, Babasaheb Ambedkar was an Indian jurist, economist, politician and social reformer who campaigned against social discrimination towards the untouchables (Dalits) and supported the rights of women and workers. He died on 6 December 1956.

In 1990, Ambedkar was conferred with the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award. (ANI)

 

TMC Minister Partha Chatterjee in trouble, CBI investigation ordered in SSC scam

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India]: The TMC workers’ legal wing of West Bengal blocked the doors of the Calcutta High Court and barred the lawyers from entering the Court of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay.

TMC workers’ legal wing said, “Justice Gangopadhyay has committed a crime by passing orders in the School Service Commission (SSC) corruption case.”
On Tuesday, a division bench of the Calcutta High Court stayed a single bench order that directed West Bengal minister Partha Chatterjee to appear before the CBI in connection with irregularities in the appointment of assistant teachers in state government-aided schools. Justice Gangopadhyay had also given CBI liberty to arrest the state minister in the case.

Justice Gangopadhyay also said in his order that Chatterjee would not be allowed to be hospitalised to avoid the CBI investigation.

The Bar Association, Calcutta High Court brought out a resolution to boycott Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay.

“The Hon’ble Chief Justice, being the Master of Roster, if not pleased to change the determination of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay from Wednesday (13/ 4/ 2022) to uphold the Judicial discipline and supremacy of the judiciary as humbly requested by the members of the Bar, will have no option but to abstain from the judicial work in that Court until appropriate recourse is taken having due regard that independent and fair judiciary in the dispensation of Justice is the hallmark of a vibrant democracy,” said Biswabrata Basu Mallick, Hony. Secretary of Bar Association, Calcutta High Court.

He added that the general Body Resolved by a majority in the meeting, in view of the recent unprecedented actions of the Hon’ble Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay, in publicly questioning the judicial decisions of the Appeal Court, hearing appeals from orders passed by the Hon’ble Judge hearing education matters, which is acting completely against judicial decorum, decency, judicial discipline and propriety.

According to Biswabrata Basu Mallick, such act and action on the part of the learned Single Judge has percolated such a message that four successive Division Bench have recused themselves from the appeals.

Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay had moved the Supreme Court in light of the Calcutta High Court Division Bench staying some of his orders. Earlier, a single bench of Justice Gangopadhyay had directed the CBI to probe alleged irregularities in the recruitment of teachers and non-teaching staff in government schools in the state. However, the order was stayed by the HC division bench.

Justice Gangopadhyay appealed to the Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court to look into the matter.

Meanwhile, a general body meeting of the Bar Association of Calcutta High Court on Tuesday was dissolved due to an unruly situation and no resolution was adopted in it, its president Arunabha Ghosh informed the chief justice of the court.

In the meeting, discussions were scheduled on issues raised by a member with regard to the court of Justice Abhijit Gangopadhyay, who has in the recent past ordered CBI enquiry in some of his cases.

Reacting to the dissolution of the general body meeting of the Bar Association of Calcutta High Court, Biswabrata Basu Mallick said that the ‘president of the Bar Association, within four corners of the regulation of Bar Association, does not have any power or authority to declare the General Body Meeting to be dissolved and as such the Letter of Mr Arunava Ghosh is bad and void and no credence/no cognizance be given to the same’.

The lawyers’ protest is still on in the Calcutta High Court. (ANI)

 

Rupa Ganguly asks people of West Bengal: ‘How can this go on?’

New Delhi [India]: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Rajya Sabha MP Rupa Ganguly on Wednesday lashed out at the West Bengal government for its failure in protecting the dignity of women in the state while referring to Nadia Hanskhali murder-rape case, alleging that such cases have become a ‘new normal’ in the state.

Earlier this month, a 14-year-old girl died after she was allegedly gang-raped in West Bengal’s Nadia district. The victim’s family accused the son of a Trinamool Congress panchayat leader in the case.
“At present, West Bengal High Court is coming to the rescue of the people by taking sue moto cognisance of incidents of violence. This is not the only case, every single day such an incident is taking place in the state,” Ganguly told ANI.

“Just think of your child’s face for 30 seconds by closing your eyes. If this is happening to your child, how many days will you not be able to sleep? What is happening with the rest of the people? how can West Bengal remain quiet? I am telling all of you that wake up everyone, how can this go on,” she added.

The BJP MP also choked as she spoke about “atrocities against women in West Bengal” while drawing a parallel with her character Draupadi from Mahabharat saying she would constantly cry over ‘Draupadi Chirharan’ sequence.

“When I was playing the role of Draupadi in Mahabharata, I lived in the character for eight days. One day I screamed in the middle of the shoot of the Chirharan episode. Everyone was laughing around me but my heart was crying as I was being stripped in the crowd,” she remembered.

She further said that everyone praised her acting skills in the Draupadi role but she used to cry after the shooting. “Today, I remember that day how every woman with whom these incidents are happening in West Bengal feels? how the one who has remained alive is actually living?”

Her remarks came after Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday questioned if the girl was actually raped or had a love affair that got her pregnant.

“How do you know if she was raped? The police are yet to ascertain the cause of the death. I had asked them. Was she pregnant or had a love affair or was sick? Even family knew it was a love affair. If a couple is in a relationship, how can I stop them?,” the chief minister said.

Calcutta High Court on Tuesday granted permission to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to investigate the Hanskhali rape case. In its detailed order, the HC noted that in order to have a ‘fair investigation’ and instil confidence in the family of the victim, the case was being handed over to the CBI.

The state investigating agency has been asked to hand over all papers relating to the investigation, as well as the custody of the accused to the central agency. The matter has been listed for May 2.

A case under sections 376(2)(G) (gangrape), 302 (murder), 204 (tampering with evidence) of the IPC and relevant sections of the POCSO) Act was registered in the case. (ANI)

 

Jharkhand govt. to give Rs 5 lakh to kin of Deoghar ropeway victims

Ranchi (Jharkhand) [India]: Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Tuesday announced Rs 5 lakh financial assistance to dependents of the deceased in the Deoghar cable car incident and Lohardaga violence.

The Chief Minister held a high-level meeting on Tuesday in Ranchi regarding the ropeway accident in the Deoghar district and the incident in Lohardaga.
The state government directed the officials to provide quality treatment to the people injured in both incidents. The Chief Minister has directed the officers to constitute a high-level inquiry committee to investigate the cable car accident in Deoghar district and to include experts related to the ropeway in the committee.

The state government issued directions to register an FIR regarding the accident.

The Indian Air Force (IAF) on Tuesday completed the rescue of 35 stranded people from the Trikut Hills Ropeway Service in the Deoghar district. Three people died in the accident.

The operation was carried out in close coordination with National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), local administration and Army.

IAF utilised two Mi-17 V5, one Mi-17, one Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) and one Cheetah to fly more than 26 hours in this effort. The operation was initiated in the early hours on Monday.

Some cable cars collided on a ropeway at Trikut hills close to Baba Baidyanath Temple on Sunday. The IAF received the request for the rescue of 59 tourists stuck in the ropeway service.

In Lohardaga, a man succumbed to his injuries following a stone-pelting incident that took place after clashes broke out between two groups in Hirhi on Sunday.

Several people were injured and vehicles were also torched during the violence. (ANI)

 

Telangana: Farmers dump paddy outside BJP MP’s residence

Nizamabad (Telangana) [India]: Farmers staged a protest against the Centre at the residence of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP Arvind Dharmapuri, dumping paddy outside his house in the Nizamabad district of Telangana.

The protesting farmers alleged that the Centre has betrayed them by not procuring paddy from them. “He (the BJP MP) is hiding in Delhi and has betrayed us as Dharmapuri’s yet to take cognizance of the paddy procurement issue. The Centre must procure paddy from us,” a farmer told ANI.
Reacting to the protest, Dharmapuri claimed that the people who were agitating at his house were not real farmers, but “daily-wage labourers” hired by Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) MLA Jeevan Reddy.

After Dharmapuri accused the TRS MLA of orchestrating the protest, Reddy said that Telangana farmers are unhappy with the BJP’s “step-motherly treatment”, asking the Centre to explain the efficacy of the “One Nation One Procurement Policy”.

“Telangana farmers are unhappy with the BJP’s step-motherly treatment to the state. We’ll fight for the rights of our farmers. We need an answer from the Centre on the ‘One Nation One Procurement Policy’ and as to when will they start paddy procurement from Telangana,” Reddy said.

However, the Centre on Monday said the procurement in Telangana under the central pool has increased tremendously over the last five to six years.

Meanwhile, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao said on Tuesday that the state government has decided to purchase paddy from farmers within three to four days. He requested all the farmers in the state to not sell their crops at a rate lesser than the Minimum Support Price (MSP).

The Telangana government has been demanding from the Centre to procure the entire paddy stock from the State. Last year, a delegation of Ministers from the state met union Ministers to press for the paddy procurement from the state. (ANI)

 

Gujarat section of Mumbai-Ahmedabad bullet train to begin by 2027

Surat (Gujarat) [India]: The trial run for the entire Gujarat section of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad high-speed train corridor will begin in the year 2026 and services for people will be rolled out by 2027, said SC Agnihotri, Managing Director of National High-Speed Rail Corporation Limited (NHSRCL) on Tuesday.

The Managing Director further said escalated costs of the project, missed deadlines due to land acquisition and COVID-19 pandemic, among other issues will be discussed with the Japanese government to figure out the solutions.
A joint press conference over the status of the Mumbai-Ahmedabad High-Speed Rail project was held by SC Agnihotri, Managing Director of NHSRCL and Satoshi Suzuki, Ambassador of Japan to India.

In Gujarat and Dadra and Nagar Haveli, 100 per cent of civil contracts for the construction of the entire route i.e. 352 km have been awarded to Indian contractors.

There will be eight stations in Gujarat– Vapi, Bilimora, Surat, Bharuch, Vadodara, Anand/Nadiad, Ahmedabad and Sabarmati.

Surat station will be one of the largest stations in the High-Speed Rail Project with a built-up area of 48,234 Sqm.

Surat is famous for its diamond industry, hence, the interiors of the station will represent the diamond facets.

“Surat station will be completed by 2023 and it will be the first station of the project to get ready,” he said.

The project has generated 1.20 lakh direct and indirect jobs. The project has provided 20,000 direct employment and around one lakh indirect jobs in the state, he added.

Meanwhile, Satoshi said that they have emphasized through this project the transfer of technology to the Indian side.

The NHSRCL will be a technology provider to other such high-speed rail projects in the country. Like Delhi Metro is providing consultation to other metro projects in the country. (ANI)

Temple tourism to witness massive boost in coming days: CM Bommai

Udupi (Karnataka) [India]: Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Monday said that the beach and temple tourism will witness a massive boost in the coming days while adding the state government has urged the Centre to bring in necessary changes to the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) norms.

He was speaking after inaugurating the Dr VS Acharya Bus Station built by Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation in Udupi.
“Beach Tourism and Temple Tourism will see a huge development in the coming days. A representation has been made to the Centre for changes in CRZ regulations for the development of tourism in the coastal region. We have received an appropriate response,” said Bommai.

He said that the comprehensive development of the Udupi district is a priority objective for the State government.

“Work has started on the construction of the 250-bed hospital. A medical college and hospital under the public-private partnership model would also come up in the coming day. Approval has been given for drinking water and underground drainage projects. Fishing and tourism too would get a boost,” Bommai added.

The Chief Minister lauded the honesty of late VS Acharya in public life and said that he was ideal for others to show that one can function honestly in public life.

Transport Minister B Sriramulu, Ministers S Angara and Kota Srinivas Poojary others were present. (ANI)

 

KCR gives 24-hour to Centre to procure paddy from Telangana

New Delhi [India]:  Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao on Monday issued a warning to the Centre over its paddy procurement policy and said that they would “go after the government” if crops are not “procured uniformly” within the next 24 hours.

The TRS MPs, MLCs, MLAs and other elected representatives are taking part in the “dharna” while raising claims that the “Centre’s policy is discriminatory towards Telangana farmers”.
Addressing the protest, Rao said, “I request Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Piyush Goyal to procure crops uniformly across the country including Telangana. Please buy our food grains. We will wait for the next 24 hours after that we will make a decision and will go after you.”

“I will come back and will discuss the presidential elections and other issues. We will make a decision in the next 2-3 days and then will decide,” he added.

The Chief Minister also warned the Prime Minister against “messing up with the farmers”.

“We have come 2,000 km away from Telangana amid this heat. I warn PM Modi that you can’t mess with farmers. Indian history is a testament that wherever farmers cried, the government loses power. Nobody is permanent…When in power, don’t treat farmers unfairly,” he said.

KCR also hit out at Piyush Goyal and claimed that the latter reacted “harshly” when the state Agriculture Minister had met the Union Minister.

“When our agriculture minister came to Delhi, Piyush Goyal reacted harshly. Goyal asked him to eat broken rice. Piyush Goyal is Piyush Golmaal, I don’t know what he understands,” he said.

Notably, KCR was joined by farmer leader Rakesh Tikait in the protest against the Centre. KCR welcomed his presence and assured him of his state’s support.

“Rajesh Tikait, I want to assure you that the whole of Telangana is with you. Everyone saw the way you protested in Delhi. You also made the Prime Minister apologise,” he said.

Slamming the BJP for the procurement policy, the Chief Minister said that if the government does not frame a new agriculture policy, the public will remove the government.

“Telangana demands its right. I would urge PM to frame a new agriculture policy and we will contribute. If not then the public will remove you and frame a new agriculture policy,” he added. (ANI)

Jharkhand CM orders high-level investigation in cable-car mishap in Deoghar

Ranchi (Jharkhand) [India]:  Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Monday ordered a high-level investigation into the ropeway accident near Trikut in Deoghar, where at least two people were killed and several others injured after cable cars in a ropeway collided with each other at Trikut hills.

“I express my deepest condolences on the incident on Trikut mountain and the deaths in it. There will be a high-level inquiry into the matter,” Soren said in a tweet.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is constantly monitoring the situation in Jharkhand’s Deoghar, government sources said on Monday.

The Prime Minister also discussed the rescue operations with Union Home Minister Amit Shah, they said.

BJP MP Nishikant Dubey said that for the first time, the Indian Army, Air Force, National Disaster Response Force, and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) have together constituted joint coordination with district admin for this rescue operation.

“Local people were saying that if provided facilities, they could have emptied four cabins themselves. But the government was not listening to me and today, local people emptied two cabins after the support of forces. So the government had to take the support of locals for rescue,” he added.

Two people died after some cable cars collided on a ropeway at Trikut hills close to Baba Baidyanath Temple on Sunday. The Indian Air force (IAF) has been pressed into action for rescue operations.

Deputy Commissioner Manjunath Bhajantri said that 32 people have been rescued while 15 people are still trapped mid-air in three cable cars. “Rescue operations will resume early morning tomorrow,” he added.

National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), Air Force and Indian Army carried out the rescue operations today. The IAF deployed one Mi-17 and one Mi-17 V5 helicopter for carrying out the rescue operations. (ANI)

 

CM Bhagwant Mann assures hassle-free wheat procurement in Punjab

Khanna (Punjab) [India]: Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann reviewed the wheat procurement at the Khanna grain market on Friday and assured all stakeholders, including farmers, of smooth, prompt and hassle-free wheat procurement.

While reviewing the ongoing wheat procurement operations at the market, he said detailed instructions have already been issued to officials of the Food and Civil Supplies department and heads of all the state procurement agencies would ensure timely payment besides immediate lifting.
The Chief Minister mentioned the delay in the arrival of wheat in mandis and stated that the product in some areas was comparatively less. He assured that every single grain of farmer’s produce would be procured by the government through its 2,262 mandis (1,862 permanent and 400 temporary).

“This year we are expecting the arrival of 135 lakh metric tons (MT) of wheat in the state, out of which around 97,000 (MT) would is expected in Khanna mandi alone and around 9.24 lakh MT in district Ludhiana” stated Mann.

The CM said that due to the Russia-Ukraine war, there would be an increase in demand for wheat globally, and this time, wheat was being purchased above the government fixed Minimum Support Price (MSP) by private traders. He said that after depositing tax in mandis, private traders can procure wheat from all mandis of the state with ease.

He also claimed that ‘payment is being transferred online to the bank accounts of farmers’ within 48 hours and he is personally monitoring the ongoing wheat procurement process.

He said that the “Ann Data” farmer would be properly taken care of in the mandis and clear instructions have already been passed to the concerned officials.

Mann also listed the facilities in the mandis for farmers including arrangements of potable drinking water, lights, sitting arrangements and toilets etc.

He also said that to ensure there is no arrival of wheat from other states, the state government is fully geared up and strict action would be taken against all officials or anyone allowing this corrupt practice. (ANI)

 

Andhra Pradesh govt allows Muslim employees to leave offices early during Ramzan

Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh) [India]:  All Muslim government employees, teachers, and contract workers are permitted to leave offices/ schools early by one hour in the evening on all working days during the month of Ramzan from April 3 to May 2, said the Government of Andhra Pradesh on Thursday.

“Government hereby permit all the Government Servants, Teachers, Persons hired on contract and outsourcing personnel, who profess Islam to leave offices/schools early by one hour in the evening on all working days during the Holy Month of ‘Ramzan” i.e. from April 3, 2022, to May 2, 2022 (both days Inclusive) to perform necessary rituals, except when their presence is required due to exigencies of services during the said period,” said an order issued by the Andhra Pradesh government.
Ramzan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, during which the followers of Islam fast from dawn and sunset, pray for peace and guidance, give back to the community in the form of charity or ‘zakat’ and engage in humanitarian activities such as feeding the underprivileged and introspect to enlighten their souls.

This annual observance of Ramzan is regarded as one of the five pillars of Islam. It lasts between one sighting of the crescent moon and the next. It is said that Ramzan is the commemoration of Prophet Muhammad’s first revelation. (ANI)

Madras HC upholds Tamil Nadu’s 7.5 pc reservation to govt school students in medical courses

Chennai (Tamil Nadu) [India]: Madras High Court on Thursday upholds a 7.5 per cent reservation by Tamil Nadu Government to students from government schools in admission for medical courses.

A bench of Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy gave the verdict while directing the state government to review the quota in five years.
“We direct the state government to review the same in a period of five years as recommended by the commission and during the intervening period, steps may be taken to improve the standard of education in government schools so that the reservation may not be further extended beyond five years,” the court said.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin termed the judgment historic and a form of social justice.

“The judgement is a huge victory as the quota will provide a level playing field for medical aspirants from the economically weaker sections,’ Stalin said.

“Following medical education, when we came to power, we gave reservations to public school students in vocational courses! We charge tuition and accommodation fees! The High Court judgment Social Justice has shown that our every step in the journey is solid!” he tweeted.

In August 2021, the Tamil Nadu government moved a bill reserving 7.5% of seats for government school students for admission to undergraduate professional courses in engineering, law, agriculture and others in all private and government colleges and universities. Stalin introduced the bill in the legislative assembly and said that the government has taken action to bring equality between the students of public and private schools. (ANI)

 

Bengaluru Police issue notices to over 300 mosques, temples, others; asks to maintain decibel level of loudspeakers

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India] : Bengaluru Police on Thursday issued notices to 301 mosques, temples, churches, and other establishments to use their loudspeakers within the permissible decibel levels, said Kamal pant, Commissioner of Police, Bengaluru on Thursday.

Of the 301 notices served, 59 have been given to pubs, bars and restaurants, 12 to industries, 83 to temples, 22 to churches and 125 to mosques across the city.
The move comes after some right-wing activists demanded the shutting down of loudspeakers which is violating the noise pollution rules. In this regard, they also met commissioners and other police officers across the state.

Maulana Maqsood Imran Rashidi (Imam Jamia Masjid City Market) told ANI that they have received a notice from the police department and they will follow the order which has been given as per the directions of the Supreme Court related to the decibels of the loudspeaker.

“Many mosques have received the notice. We have been told to maintain the sound level. They have said that the directions issued by the Supreme Court need to be adhered to and if the orders are not followed then action will be initiated,” the Imam said.

He further said that they have started fitting the device which ensures that the sound does not cross the permissible level and no one is disturbed.

“We will follow all the orders which have been given as per the directions of the Supreme Court related to the decibels of the loudspeaker. Temples have also received the notice in this regard. If we all follow the rules then there will be no problem,” he added.

The Imam urged the government to take strict action against those who try to disturb the peace and create violence.

“We should keep discrimination aside and should work together for the development of the country,” he said.

Meanwhile, Karnataka Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai on Tuesday had accused Congress of doing vote bank politics over the loudspeaker issue stating that Congress vote bank politics is creating all these problems.

He further said that the High Court order of decibel meters has been passed on it as well and it is not only for Azaan but for all loudspeakers.

“They are really hypocrites. Who started the Hijab issue and why did they raise their voice against the people who started the hijab and who violated the Court orders, why they were silent then? Congress vote bank politics is creating all these problems and we are solving them one by one. This is the order of the High Court order, nothing is done through force. It is not only for Azaan but for all loudspeakers,” said Bommai slamming the Congress for politicising the issues.

However, former Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had accused the ruling BJP of manipulating society by using communal issues for political gains in the upcoming Assembly elections, adding that row over loudspeakers at mosques will backfire Bommai government in the upcoming state elections.

Earlier, Karnataka Home Minister Araga Jnanendra had given an order to state police to look into it and take them into confidence and implement the High Court’s order.

The order is not only for Azaan but for buses also there are some rules and noise had to be specific decibels. It is for illegal loudspeakers who are violating pollution rules. There are court orders as well. That has to be implemented. We have instructed police officials to look into it and take them into coincidence. There is no opportunity to create a law and order situation. It’s for each and everyone not only for mosques. The High court orders have to be followed,” he said.

State Health Minister Dr K Sudhakar said that the decibel level set by the Supreme Court is not only applicable to any one religion but is for every citizen.

“The Supreme Court had already settled the matter a few years ago. There is already a settled law for it. So as part of maintaining and minimizing the sound pollution, a decibel level has been set and it is not applicable to one religion. The law applies to each and every citizen,” said Sudhakar.

The Minister also urged not to politicize everything and to respect the views and judgment of law of the land.

Reacting to Siddaramaiah’s remark, state Revenue Minister R Ashok said that his allegations are baseless and neither the government nor the Chief Minister is involved in such things.

“This is unfortunate, a man like Siddaramaiah is blaming the Chief Minister who is not involved in such things. Neither the government nor the chief minister is involved in such things. A baseless thing has been said by Siddaramaiah,” Ashok said.

He further urged Siddaramaiah to maintain his dignity through his behaviour and the way he speaks.

“He knows that who is responsible for all such things. Politicians always see the votes. This is only a desperate attempt by Siddaramaiah,” he added.

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut had also said that the Maharashtra Home Minister has also given the notice to maintain the decibel level for Azaan.

The debate sparked after the Maharashtra NavnirmanSena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray asked the state government to remove the loudspeakers from mosques and warned of “putting loudspeakers in front of the mosques and play Hanuman Chalisa”.

“I am not against prayers, you can pray at your home, but the government should take a decision on removing mosque loudspeakers. I am warning now… Remove loudspeakers or else will put loudspeakers in front of the mosque and play Hanuman Chalisa.”

Additionally, Thackeray also appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to raid the mosques in the Muslim areas in Mumbai and said that the people living there are “Pakistani supporters”.

“I appeal to PM Modi to raid the Madarasas at the Muslim shanties. Pakistani supporters are residing in these shanties. Mumbai Police knows what’s happening there…Our MLAs using them for vote-bank, such people don’t even have Aadhar Card, but the MLAs get them made,” he said.

As per the Supreme Court order in the industrial area, there can be a noise of 75 decibels in the daytime and at night 70 decibels while in the commercial area a noise of 65 decibels in the day and 55 decibels at the night is allowed. In residential areas 55 decibels in the day time and 45 decibels at night time.

Also, in the silence zone, 50 decibels of noise are allowed during the day and 40 decibels at the night. (ANI)

 

Andhra Pradesh Cabinet rejig on cards, CM Jagan Mohan Reddy to drop 19 ministers

Amravati (Andhra Pradesh) [India]:  Bracing up for the 2024 Assembly elections in the state, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is all set for the Cabinet rejig with as many as 19 ministers are likely to be dropped.

The Chief Minister is likely to induct new ministers into the state Cabinet in a matter of few days, with anticipations running that the swearing-in could even take place on April 9.
Sources said that only four of the incumbent ministers may retain their positions.

The Chief Minister, sources said, will submit the final list of new ministers to Governor Biswabhushan Harichandran before April 9.

Reddy on Wednesday, sources said, handed over the final list of the 19 ministers being dropped from the Cabinet to the Governor.

In the current cabinet, there are five deputy CMs. Reddy is likely to have five new Deputy Chief Ministers as part of his strategy to strike a caste balance in the state.

Currently, the five Deputy CMs represent Scheduled caste, Scheduled Tribe, Backward Caste, minority and Kapu communities.

Also, there are 11 ministers from upper castes, including four from the Reddy community, seven from OBC, five from SC, and one each from ST and Muslim communities.

With the State Assembly elections scheduled in 2024 in Andhra Pradesh, this rejig holds importance.

Reddy, midway during his term after assuming the CM office, had indicated that he would reorganize the Cabinet. The rejig was scheduled to take place last December, but it was postponed due to Covid-19.

Last month, Reddy had stated that the Cabinet reorganisation will take place after Ugadi, the Telugu New Year, which was on April 2. (ANI)

 

Sharad Pawar meets PM Modi in Parliament

New Delhi [India]: Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday in Parliament building.

The meeting comes in the backdrop of action by Enforcement Directorate (ED) against leaders of the Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government in Maharashtra especially some leaders of NCP and Shiv Sena in money laundering cases.
The Enforcement Directorate had on Tuesday provisionally attached assets worth Rs 11.15 crore of three people, including Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut’s wife Varsha Raut, in a case related to irregularities in a chawl redevelopment project at Mumbai’s Goregaon.

The assets of Varsha and the two others — businessman Pravin Raut, and Swapna Patkar, wife of the MP’s close associate Sujit Patkar — have been attached under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray had last month targeted the BJP-led government over the role of probe agencies in the state including the Enforcement Directorate’s action in a case linked to his relatives and dared it to put him behind the bars.

He also referred to Mahabharta, saying while he is no Krishna, “can you (BJP) say you are not Kans”.

The ED had attached properties of nearly Rs 6.45 crore during raids at his brother-in-law Shridhar Patankar’s premises.

Thackeray had also referred to state Minister Nawab Malik, who has been arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering case and asked if the NCP leader was in the wrong, what were the agencies doing for so long. (ANI)

CPI(M) party congress begins today in Kerala’s Kannur

Kannur (Kerala) [India]- Ahead of the 23rd Congress of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M), which begins here on Wednesday, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Tuesday hoisted the party’s flag and addressed party workers.

In his address, Vijayan lashed out at the Congress, the Indian Union Muslim League (IUML) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) saying that these parties were jointly opposing the CPI(M) and that a group of MPs are opposing the development work of the state in Parliament.
He referred to violence against the party’s workers in West Bengal and Tripura, saying the party was gaining back strength and will come out stronger than before.

The 23rd CPI(M) Party Congress is scheduled to be held from April 6 -10 at E.K. Nayanar Academy here and on the agenda is the selection of the next general secretary to lead the party for the next three years. The conference will also deliberate on various prevailing national and international issues.

Vijayan, the Polit Bureau member of the CPI(M), hoisted the flag that arrived at reached AKG Nagar (Jawahar Stadium) in Kannur in a procession led by led by M Swaraj, Secretariat member, from Vayalar-Punnapara, which was the centre of the 1946 historic communist uprising against the alleged misrule of a Dewan of the King of Travancore. The flagpole march from Kayyur was led by P. K. Sreemathy, the party’s Central Committee member.

Both the flag procession and the flagpole procession was accompanied with musical accompaniments and colourful umbrellas.

The chief minister who is also the chairperson of the organizing committee hoisted the red flag in the public conference venue furnished in memory of A. K. Gopalan, the commandant of the poor, as he is referred, at Jawahar Stadium Kannur.

CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury will inaugurate today the Party Congress here, in which around 800 delegates, including party members and political observers from across the country are expected to attend.

Party General secretary Sitharam Yechury, Prakash Karat, S Ramachandran Pillai, Kotiyeri Balakrishnan, MA Baby, Manik Sarkar, Bimal Basu and Brinda Karat were among those who attended the flag hoisting ceremony on Tuesday. (ANI)

TN: Annual ‘Chithirai’ festival commences at Meenakshi Temple

Madurai (Tamil Nadu): As per the customs of the annual ‘Chithirai’ festival that commenced at Meenakshi Temple in Madurai, a 24-year old female elephant has been kept in a separate hall on East Audi Road of Madurai, an official told.

“During the Meenakshi Amman Swami’s departure from the festival at the Meenakshi Amman Temple, it is customary for the elephant to go ahead,” said Karumuthu Kannan, Thakkar of Madurai Meenakshi Amman temple.

Last year, the elephant named Parvati elephant contracted a disease in her eye due to which the doctors were treating her.

“Currently, Parvati is in good health and participated in the Chithrai Festival yesterday,” he said further.

The Annual ‘Chithirai’ festival commenced on Tuesday with its traditional temple flag hoisting at Meenakshi Amman Temple.

Chithirai Festival, also known as Chithirai Thiruvizha, Meenakshi Kalyanam or Meenakshi Thirukalyanam is the celestial wedding of Goddess Meenakshi and Lord Sundareswarar.

This year’s Chithirai festival assumes significance as it was not held with the participation of devotees for the past two years due to the lockdown restrictions imposed in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The celestial Wedding or Thirukalyanam is scheduled to take place on April 14, informed the temple authority. The car festival will be held on April 15 and the Kallazhagar festival would be on April 16.

The festival lasts for one month. The first 15 days mark the celebrations of the coronation of Meenakshi as the divine ruler of Madurai and her marriage to Sundareshwar. (ANI)

 

Haryana CM calls for resolving Chandigarh issue by ‘sitting together’

Karnal (Haryana) [India]: Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Monday said that the Chandigarh issue is not something that can be “passed unilaterally in the Assembly” adding that it should be resolved by “sitting together”.

Taking a dig at the Aam Aadmi Party government in Punjab which recently passed a resolution reiterating the state’s claim on Chandigarh, Khattar said that “there must be a hidden agenda behind this”.
“Chandigarh issue should be resolved by sitting together, it’s not something that can be passed unilaterally in Assembly. They’ve (AAP) not been in power for 4 days and are raising these controversial issues; there must be a hidden agenda behind this,” Khattar said while speaking to the reporters here.

The Chief Minister stressed that Chandigarh will always be the capital of both Haryana and Punjab and said that the public will “see their (AAP’s) agenda.”

“The Punjab public will see their agenda. We will not let it reach its goal. Chandigarh was, is, and will be the capital of Haryana and Punjab,” he said.

Row over Chandigarh came to the fore after the Punjab Assembly on Friday passed a resolution reiterating the state’s claim on Chandigarh. The move was made after the decision of the Central Government to implement Central Service Rules on Chandigarh employees.

Congress marked its entry into the row as it held a meeting of the Legislature Party at Haryana Bhawan in Delhi on Monday in which 24 MLAs were present.

“Today, in the CLP meeting, we discussed the resolution passed in Punjab Assembly regarding Chandigarh. We will oppose this resolution strongly because Chandigarh belongs to Haryana,” Hooda said after the meeting.

Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann last week moved a resolution in the assembly seeking the transfer of Chandigarh to the state. (ANI)

 

Chandigarh lifts all COVID-19 restrictions, no penalty for not wearing face mask in public places

Chandigarh [India]: Amid the continuous decline in COVID-19, the Chandigarh administration on Monday lifted all the remaining COVID-19 restrictions including the wearing of masks in public places.

As per the order, no penalty would be imposed for not wearing a face mask in public or workplaces from now onwards.
However, the administration advised people to adhere to COVID appropriate behaviour including wearing of face mask, hand hygiene and maintaining social distancing.

“The undersigned in exercise of the powers conferred under Section 22 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, in my capacity as Chairperson, State Executive Committee, State Disaster Management Authority hereby withdraws all the remaining orders/guidelines issued under DM Act, 2005 with immediate effect. No penalty or fine shall be imposed for not wearing of face mask in public/work places. However, the general public is advised to adhere to COVID Appropriate behaviour including wearing of face mask, hand hygiene and maintaining social distancing,” the order reads.

Several states have lifted COVID-19 restrictions and made use of face masks optional in public places in view of the decline in COVID-19 cases across the country.

States which have removed mask mandate include Maharashtra, Delhi, and Telangana. (ANI)

 

Rajasthan: 46 arrested, seven detained for questioning after stone-pelting on religious procession in Karauli

Karauli (Rajasthan) [India]: The Rajasthan police on Monday arrested 46 people and detained seven others for interrogation following a stone-pelting incident during a religious procession in Karauli on Saturday.

The Inspector-General (IG) of Police, Bharatpur Range, Prasanna Kumar Khamesra said, “After stone pelting took place during the procession in Futa Kot area Main Bazaar Karauli on Saturday, the police acted promptly and arrested 46 people and detained seven people for interrogation.”
“13 accused have been arrested in connection with the incident in the case registered at Police Station Karauli and 33 people have been arrested for violating curfew order. 07 people have been detained for questioning. A total of 21 two-wheelers and four-wheelers were also seized by the police,” Khamesra added.

IG Prasanna Kumar Khmesra said, “In view of the sensitivity of the incident, he immediately reached Karauli on the spot and took stock of the situation along with Superintendent of Police Karauli Shailendra Singh Indoliya, called the necessary police force and Rajasthan Armed Constabulary (RAC) from other districts of the range and imposed it on the spot for peace and order.”

Police Headquarters, for close supervision of the situation, has sent ADG Sanjib Kumar, IG Bharat Lal Meena, DIG (Crime branch) Jaipur Rahul Prakash, DCP Mridul Kachawa, and DCP Jaipur Narayan Togas to Karauli, informed the police.

IG Khamesra added, “To maintain law and order in the area, the situation is being closely monitored by police patrolling at various places in the city. A flag march was conducted in the city by the police force.”

The situation is under control but a curfew has been imposed in the city as a precautionary measure, he added.

Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) was imposed in the Karauli district of Rajasthan on Saturday and the internet was shut down after stones were pelted during a ‘Shobha Yatra’ procession that day. Section 144 was imposed in Karauli from 6:30 pm on April 2 till 12 am on April 4. (ANI)

Telangana CM to arrive in Delhi, likely to meet several political leaders

Hyderabad (Telangana): Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao will reach Delhi on Sunday and is likely to meet several political leaders soon, sources said on Sunday.

Rao is accompanied by his wife and daughter for the visit.
Rao has been meeting several Opposition leaders to intensify his efforts to bring together like-minded parties for an anti-BJP front. During his Mumbai visit in February, he met Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) supremo Sharad Pawar.

Meanwhile, on Saturday, Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) working president and Minister KT Rama Rao announced that the party will organize a five-pronged protest against the Centre’s stance on paddy procurement from Telangana.

He further said, “TRS party has come up with an action plan against the Centre and state Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders. On April 4, protests will be held at all Mandal headquarters in the state. On April 6, TRS workers will hold ‘Rasta roko’ on the National Highways leading to Mumbai, Nagpur, Bengaluru, and Vijaywada.”

“On April 7, protests will be held with lakhs of farmers at all district headquarters except Hyderabad. On April 8, every farmer will hoist a black flag across 12,769 panchayats in the state. On April 11, TRS ministers and public representatives will hold protests and the party MPs will voice their opposition in Parliament.” (ANI)

 

Jagan Mohan seeks 60 months’ time for construction of Amaravati Capital City in AP, TDP objects

Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh) [India]:  Telugu Desam Party (TDP) Member of Legislative Council (MLC) BT Naidu, with an official statement by the Andhra Pradesh TDP office on Sunday, objected to the government’s affidavit seeking a time of 60 months for the construction of Amaravati Capital City.

“The latest affidavit once again exposed the Yuvajana Shramika Rythu Congress Party (YSRCP/YCP) regime’s ulterior plans to sabotage Amaravati and cause suffering to thousands of farmers who gave up their ancestral lands,” said B.T. Naidu.
According to the statement, B.T. Naidu said that “over 70 per cent task was accomplished on the Polavaram Lifeline Irrigation Project during the TDP regime itself. However, Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy had totally undermined both Polavaram and Amaravati projects though they were like two eyes for the State.”

Naidu termed it unpardonable that the ruling YSRCP was still continuing to throw mud on the Capital project regardless of the court judgments.

“With 29,000 acres given by the farmers, a wealth of over Rs 2 Lakh Crore was created for Andhra Pradesh in Amaravati. With this massive property, a glorious and landmark Capital City could be constructed for the 5 crore people of the State,” said Naidu.

The TDP MLC said for the past three years, the YCP Ministers have been carrying misinformation propaganda against Amaravati in the name of ‘Kammaravati’, graphics, and flood-proneness.

“Why didn’t the Government provide details of its anti-Amaravati campaigns in its court affidavit? The YCP regime admitted in the court that its campaigns in the past three years were false and politically motivated,” he added.

Naidu further recalled how the YCP MLAs criticized Chandrababu Naidu that he could not complete Capital construction in his five-year term.

“Jagan Reddy said during the elections that he would complete Capital city within six months. It was shameless that having wasted precious time for three years, the Jagan regime was now seeking more time to complete the Capital works,” it added.

The TDP MLC also asserted that the courts had a constitutional duty and right to declare decisions of the Government as ‘invalid’ if they were in violation of the constitutional provisions.

The statement further read, “If the legislature passed a bill cancelling all the cases of Jagan Reddy, it would not stand in the courts of law. The Government’s vindictive attitude had already caused huge losses to the people due to lack of a full-fledged Capital and absence of investments.” (ANI)

 

Goa CM Pramod Sawant allocates portfolios; retains Home, Finance Ministry

Panaji (Goa) [India]: Goa Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant on Sunday allocated portfolios to his cabinet colleagues while retaining crucial Home and Finance departments with himself.

The notification, allotting portfolios to all the Ministers who were sworn in recently in presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, was issued by an order in the name of the Governor of Goa by Under Secretary (GA) Shripad Arlekar.
The Chief Minister will hold the charge of Home, Finance, Personnel, Vigilance, and Official languages departments in the state.

Vishwajit Rane has been given crucial Health and Town and Country Planning Portfolios along with Urban Development, Women and Child, and Forest departments.

Mauvin Godinho has been allotted Transport, Industries, Panchayat and Protocol portfolios.

Ravi Naik has been given Agriculture, Handicrafts, and Civil Supplies portfolios.

The crucial Public Works Department portfolio has been allotted to Nilesh Cabral along with Legislative Affairs, Environment and Law and Judiciary portfolios.

Subhash Shirodkar has been allotted Water Resources Department, Co-operation and Provedoria portfolios while Rohan Khaunte is given Tourism, Information and Technology and Printing and Stationary departments.

Govind Gaude will be Minister for Sports, Art and Culture and RDA and Atanasio Monserratte has been allotted Revenue, Labour and Waste Management portfolios.

Atanasio Monserratte Revenue, Labour, Waste Management

BJP emerged as the single largest party in Goa, winning 20 seats in the 40-member state Assembly and reducing Congress to 11 seats.

It fell one seat short of the majority figure in Goa but is set to retain power in the state with the help of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) and independent candidates. (ANI)

Rajasthan CM appeals people to stay away from miscreants, maintain peace after stone-pelting in Karauli

Barmer (Rajasthan) [India]: After Section 144 was imposed following stone-pelting at a ‘Shobha Yatra’ in Rajasthan’s Karauli, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on Saturday appealed to the people to maintain peace and asked them to stay away from the miscreants.

Speaking to ANI, Gehlot said, “I have spoken to DG police. Police and administration are present there. I appeal to the public to maintain peace and stay away from miscreants who are present in every religion.”
The Chief Minister said that he has directed the police to identify the anti-social elements.

Taking to Twitter, Gehlot appealed to help maintain law and order.

“Took detailed information from DG, police on the incident that took place in Karauli. Instructed the police to deal with the miscreants strictly. I appeal to the common people to maintain peace and help in maintaining law and order,” he tweeted in Hindi.

Many people were injured in the incident, of which 27 were treated and sent home, 10 are undergoing treatment in the hospital and 3 seriously injured were referred to Jaipur.

The injured were admitted to the District General Hospital.

Among the injured people four were police officers.

More than 600 policemen including 50 police officers deployed in Karauli. (ANI)

 

Uddhav Thackeray flags off two metro lines in Mumbai

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India]:  On the occasion of Gudi Padwa, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray flagged off two metro lines – Metro 2A and Metro 7, in Mumbai on Saturday.

Trains on the new Mumbai Metro lines will function between Aarey and Dhanukarwadi.
Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, State Cabinet Ministers Aaditya Thackeray and Eknath Shinde were also present on the occasion.

However, BJP boycotted today’s metro inauguration program as the Maharashtra government did not invite BJP leader and opposition leader Devendra Fadnavis.

This step taken by the Maharashtra government holds importance as the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation election is slated to be held this year. (ANI)

 

Kashmiri Pandit organisation Vomedh celebrates ‘Navreh’ ahead of Navratri

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India]:  A Kashmiri Pandit Organization, Vomedh on Friday celebrated Navreh, a key festival of the community, at Zabarwan Park in Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar by organizing a day-long extravagant cultural program and an exhibition on Kashmiri pandits.

The Program titled ‘Kashmir Navreh Milan 2022’ was attended by a large number of people including Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, PK Pole and Kashmiri Muslims who took a keen interest in understanding the lifestyle and culture.
“Navreh is one of the key festivals of Kashmiri Pandits and marks the beginning of the New Year.

The program started with a painting competition organized in collaboration with the private schools association. It was attended by scores of children across many schools. Different stalls were also installed in which traditional Kashmiri items were displayed in this event.

Speaking to the reporters, PK Pole said that the main motive of the organisers was to apprise the new generation of the culture of the Kashmiri pandits.

“The main motive of the organisers behind it was to let the new generation know about the culture and understand its importance,” he said.

The Commissioner informed that many Kashmiri Pandits have started rebuilding their broken homes and believed that many will come to live in the valley.

“The Kashmiri Pandits have started rebuilding their broken homes from the last year. I think many people will come here. The situation is changing. The anti-national section now knows that their days are over and thus have become less,” Pole said.

Organiser of the event, Rohit Bhat told ANI that the group is trying to revive the culture and language through such events.

“Our group is trying to revive our culture and language. We organised this event where we have presented an exhibition after 32 years depicting our dresses, and culture so that the youth could be connected. We have also organised a painting competition with the theme of communal harmony. We want the gap that was created to be fulfilled,” he said.

Artist Bharti Koul said that they want to promote harmony and brotherhood through such events.

“We are feeling good as we have always celebrated Navaratri and other such festivals together. We have come to promote harmony,” she said.

A stall owner Sameer Ahmad who hails from Srinagar expressed his pleasure upon knowing the culture of the Kashmiri Pandits and said that such events should be organised in the future also.

“I have seen such goods for the first time in my life. The items belonging to the Kashmiri Pandits were showcased. It felt good to come here and participate. More such functions should be organised,” he said. (ANI)

 

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